A night of resistance in Chicago. Photo: El BeiSMan
Tonight I melt into myself as a new #hashtag takes trend,
As my friend is detained for not having papers,
As this white white snow comes down from heaven,
Tonight I melt like how snowballs whiteness melts in my manos
As I shape it like a tortilla de harina before they are flattened,
Like Claudia telling me segregation is forever and ever
And my brown face hits cold wind: they dismiss me like twig
Like gum against pavement, like bible.
Dearly Beloved | We gather here today | In peace and in love | Hear our voices = Muslim Rights are Human Rights | No Ban No Wall |||||| Sanctuary for all | The people united | Will never be divided | Black Lives Matter | USA: NO Trump | No KKK | No Fascists | No hate | No fear ||||||||| Immigrants have-always been here | Women’s Rights are Human Rights | Are Women’s Rights | Are Human Rights | No Progress No Peace | Dismantle white Supremacy | You work for us | Not the other way around | Pro Choice is my choice | Silence = Death Silence = Death Silence = Death |
They’d tell you that bigger is better and stronger, to love the roundness of your breasts and the curves of your hips, to keep using Spanglish as you wish, your hoops hang like Christmas ornaments some gold some silver some with your name welded across from end to end,
They will whisper into you an I love you, and remind you that you have every right to be here, to be from two places at once, to speak two or three tongues and fuck who ever the hell you want, yes! Without having a pair of huevos between your legs and hairy armpits, you too can still get home late and have fun, not just the men,
They will move with your strut move forward and back side to side, and just like that they will come off when shit goes down and you have to throw down throw punches and kick some ass to protect your dignity protect what’s yours protect your people,
You see, if your hoops could speak they would shut some bitches up shut the mouths of white racist egotistic narcissistic privileged people, they would tear down walls and boarders and destroy labels and stereotypes, putting the “C” back in Amerikkka, you see, your hoops would loop around and around like mother earth like the infinite roundness of a pregnant belly, no beginning no end, and each year you survive they would get bigger and bigger just like your corazón like your nastiness your intelligence,
If your fucking hoops could speak I wouldn’t have to write this poem write the future of Latinos across this country when democracy is being fucked in the ass, bareback and unannounced, while whites are against every color they see every religion they Google every gender they don’t understand, but because your hoops only hang from earlobe to neck to shoulder, and they can’t speak, I will and so will the next brown man and the next one and you suddenly are no longer alone and your hoops are two in ten thousand.
Luis Lopez-Maldonado is a Xican@ poeta, choreographer and educator, born and raised in Southern California. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Riverside, majoring in Creative Writing and Dance. His poetry has been seen in The American Poetry Review, Foglifter, The Packinghouse Review, Public Pool, and Spillway, among many others. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University. He is currently a candidate for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame, where he is a poetry editorial assistant for the Notre Dame Review, and founder of the mens writing workshop in the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center; Recipient of the Sparks Summer Fellowship 2016. He is also co-founder and editor at The Brillantina Project. www.luislopez-maldonado.com