The New Speakers

by Gloria Anzaldua

Gloria E. Anzaldúa

(For Frieda)

Words are our trade
we speak them soft
we speak them hard
we do not push the hand
that writes, the times do that.
We are our age's mouthpiece.

There is no need for words
to fester in our minds
they germinate in the open
mouth of the barefoot child,
in the midst of restive crowds.
They wither in ivory towers
and are dissected in college classes.

Words. Some come trippingly
on the palate. Some come laboriously
Some are quickened by friends,
some prompted by passersby.

Critics label the speakers: male, female.
They assign genitals to our words
but we're not just penises or vaginas
nor are our words easy to classify

Some of us are still hung-
up on the art-for-art trip
and feel that the poet
is forever alone.
More sensitive.
An outcast.

Last updated March 27, 2023