EJ Montelongo Euphoria, oil on canvas, 30x40 inches - Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo.jpg

MY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HERE

gabriela godinez feregrino

ancestral muscle memory reminds me 

of a time when my tongue tangled

through the maze of Nahuatl -

Spanish worked hard to carve it out

 

they tried to tell my teeth to spit out another colonizer’s words and

a generation lost the tune in their tongue 

 

my people have known decades of defiant designs 

zoot suits and graffiti galleries showing

murdered Mexicas 

august Aztecas 

pachucas, cholos, and xicanos 

 

jaguar headed warriors and feathered serpents 

live in my veins 

clever classic corridos 

rattle in my rib cage

salsa spicing strong sabores 

tickle and tug at my tear ducts 

 

yet you will look at me

Look at my flavors, my songs, my clothing,

 

you will still have your stereotypes

continue with your lies

 

my people will still be here

even with your made up lines

Gabriela Godinez Feregrino is a writer and activist from Cincinnati, OH. Born in Mexico City, she immigrated with her parents to the United States at the age of 2 years old. In attempting to understand the duality of her identity (ni de aquí, ni de allá) she has discovered that many of life's truths exist in a paradox. In her story telling and poetry, she enjoys experimenting and melting genres like romance and horror. She writes for Streetvibes street paper in Cincinnati, and is co-editor of Moon Cola Zine. In all her work, she believes in amplifying marginalized voices.

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