Puerto Rico University
By Naomi Ayala
No, not in the island or Nueva York – maybe
the U.S. Department of Education
rather it be named
a possibly improbable state of statehood.
am talking clique here.
know, the “no, not enough”
the voiced and repressed
of shade, beyond class
down to music and reproachable language.
are children fighting mami
attention amongst ourselves
who gets to say “you’re better than”
good enough as you are” could be
gringo-loving Latina today
say does not have her history straight
the insufferable intellectual full of longing tomorrow
the nacionalista, the
loving sympathizer of those who have
impossible political dreams.
ask you...Who am I without my conga?
My arroz con
white rice with pork back fat and morsilla
bout of vegeterianism could endure?
am a poet. Who am I without my birth language?
first word, Baba,
sputtered for my Chola,
abuela María? But, mira
Spanish is a language of colonization
it as we have with ourselves or not –
I’m not giving it up you know.
the school of life
got to get your own degree of belonging
who you are
there ain’t no social shortcuts for that.