Sunday, September 27, 2009


My mother grew up in those projects over there,
my father in a broken family and foster homes.
My grandparents no "spika de Ingles,"
or at least not very well,
and me, I’m an American,
as Puerto Rican as a jar of caviar,
but I won’t let you say it.

I will NOT be ghetto.
YOU'RE the childish one
playing with three cars and two cell phones—
one for business and one for sex, you said.
I say, I will NOT provoke you
the way you insult me...
These STREETS don’t own ME.

To you, what is intelligence
besides the heirloom
of the white child?
You're so stuck on capitalism,
you forced your son
out of high school
and into working
fifteen-hour days
at your shady corner store,
one of thirty-three.
And now that he wants his GED,
you threaten to fire him!
He can't even visualize
having a PhD.

Don't forget his mother,
your wife
all three of your wives,
live years without you.

What is faith to you
But the reservation
of your place
in Virgin Paradise?
You're so...
Busy bribing female
customers, young girls,
with modeling jobs,
then selling them
for sex instead.
You think pimp is a master title,
but I do not consent
to your power.

What is imagination to you
But a quirk of childhood?—
Nothing, like you are
nothing but a shadow
of a serpent,
cheating to conquer
The American Dream.

Copyright Xiomara A. Maldonado 2009

Note: This poem is a spoken word piece that I've performed at various events. I'm working on getting audio for my poetry.

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