Ángela Orozco: [Spanglish]



Mami siempre me decía
que cuando era chiquita
profesaba Maná en las misas de los domingos por la mañana
parada como pequeña sacerdotisa
en el altar de nuestro Señor de los beats playeros.

Y me decía que
por las noches los coquis cantaban canciones de cuna para ayudarme a dormir
debajo de la frisa de las estrellas orgullosas
que me velaban como mamá pollito.

Pero de repente, Papi, militar,
nos llevo al Land of the Free
and I became a gringa singing the national anthem with my hand firmly over my heart
like I meant it,
el ritmo y la salsa que seguramente corrían por mis venas
como caballos de carrera,
se secaron con the cold.

And there was no Maná
and there were no estrellas salvajes
or
the scent of arroz y habichuelas
recién hechos por abuela,
not that I would know, my memory
had been shot down, ¿entiede?

So I grew all white and nice,
got confused when someone would point out that the dot next to Florida
was an island, not a smudge.

Fast Forward >>
suddenly San Juan opened its mouth in a big O
because
the gringa once again walked on the brick street
with a little salsa baile left in her hips,
still tied to her past, still living in the present
unable to choose English or Español, one language or the other
(no political statement intended)
Dancing awkward
bachata,
singing,
very tangled Cultura Profética
volviendo a creer in Maná, después de varios años de separación,
gozando un de gringo loco llamado Ricky Martin
and still going to the movies to watch Captain America

with a Wonder Woman t-shirt
with a purse from los artesanos
after going to the Iupi.

You all thought
I was going to be a forever Gone Girl
but my false baptismo
lead to the birth of a hybrid;
Frankenstein and I
split the rent
and on Puerto Rican domingos, we laugh in our hamacas
because noboby knows how to
contain our mixed blood anymore

and nadie sabe
what to make of the
nerdy-weird-gringa-turned Something Rican

and her Spanglish that tumbles out of her lips like ice cubes
about to cool the heat
of a mixed país con crisis de identidad
that, to make a quick history recap,
was converted into cristianismo español
to be re-taken by American English
leaving an awkward island standing next to America Latina unable
to talk todo español,
pissing off la Real Academia Española
with Spanglish
de la misma manera que yo digo disparates
that show what I am.
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