I, Mestiza

They call us

thieves -

filthy, hungry,

bean-eating

wetback thieves.

They look at our

brown skin

and sneer.

But

they do not know

who we really are.

I am the daughter of

Cleopatra,

bastard daughter of Cortes,

loney child of a Mayan priestess -

I stand with one leg between the

Nile,

and the other between the

Rio Grande.

I am a golden brown

that has been diluted from

Aztec bronze

African coffee

and Spanish milk.

My skin is not dirty -

my skin is beautiful.

My skin is the color of

cinnamon,

powdered gold,

ground coffee beans,

rich soil,

clay.

I am both

the result of genocide

and the result of hope.

I am equal parts

suffering

and joy.

They can sneer all they want,

can call us dirty,

demean and degrade us,

but they cannot make me ugly -

ugly are their white shark teeth,

ugly are their serpent mouths,

but I -

I am beautiful,

I, mestiza, am a smooth

flawless

rock standing firm against

two rivers -

I, mestiza, am not a

dirty rag that's been used

by many

to clean up their mess -

I,

mestiza,

am a flawless character,

pioneer of future change and unity,

dreamer and do-er;

I grasp the world with both hands

and kiss it

and bite into it,

because that's what we do,

we take the world

so that is is

too much with us -

and I ingrain it into the fibers of my

soul

so that I cannot forget my place

within it -

I, mestiza,

am beautiful,

and flawless,

and too, too

much

for the devils of

prejudice.

 

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