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UFRGS 2016

Child of the Americas


I am a child of the Americas,

A light-skinned mestiza of the Caribbean,

A child of many diaspora, born into this continent at a crossroads.


I am a U.S.Puerto Rican Jew,

A product of the getthos of New York I have never known.

An immigrant and the daughter and the granddraughter of immigrants.

I speak English with passion: it’s the tongue of my consciousness,

A flashing knife blade, my tool, my craft.


I am a Caribeña, island grown, Spanish is in my flesh,

Ripples from my tongue, lodges in my hips:

The language of garlic and mangoes,

The singing in my poetry, the flying gestures of my hands.

I am of Latinoamerica, rooted in the history of my continent:

I speak from that body.


I am not African. Africa is in me, but I cannot return.

I am not taína. Taíno is in me, but there is no way back.

I am not European. Europe lives in me, but I have no home there.


I am new. History made me. My first language was spanglish.

I was born at the crossroads And I am whole.


N.R.: Taínos were the Indian tribe indigenous to Puerto Rico

LAUTER, P. ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Miffin Company, 1988. p. 3188.


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