by Anaïs Deal-Márquez

Anais Deal-Marquez

An insult,
you’re forgetting the right way to breathe,
and you don’t know where you came from.

A nightmare
of the white girls who yell at their moms
and yank your braids at recess.

Gringa like
your blood is diluting itself in the winter,
watering down the tongue-twisters of
your childhood in melted snow,
you’re mixing up dictionaries and stories
across time and space,

as though
the first eight
years of your life
weren’t in a
soft space against
ocean and mountains.

Gringa, they call you as a joke
because you forgot how to say
huitlacoche and what it looks like
and how epazote tastes
in a bowl of beans,

and you chase words slipping through your fingers
trying to get the truck out of the mud during
the rainy season but this time across the continent
and without your tías to do the heavy lifting.

Last updated July 27, 2022