Child of the Americas
by Aurora Levins Morales*
I am a child of the Americas,
a light-skinned mestiza of the Caribbean,
a child of many diaspora, born into this continent at a crossroads.
I am a U.S. Puerto Rican Jew,
a product of the ghettos of a New York I have never known.
An immigrant and the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants.
I speak English with passion: it’s the tongue of my consciousness,
a flashing knife blade of crystal, my tool, my craft.
I am Caribeña, island grown. Spanish is in my flesh,
Ripples from my tongue, lodge in my hips:
the language of garlic and mangoes,
the singing of poetry, the flying gestures of my hands.
I am of Latinoamerica, rooted in the history of my continent:
I speak from that body.
I am not African.
Africa is in me, but I cannot return.
I am not taína.
Taíno is in me, but there is no way back.
I am not European.
Europe lives in me, but I have no home there.
I am new. History made me. My first language was spanglish.
I was born at the crossroads
and I am whole.
*Aurora Levins Morales writes for those struggling to find their identities and their voices - and speaks on issues pertaining to history and the multicultural experience (Santiago).
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