SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Are You Latinx

 

Did you know your grandparents?

No? 

Then you have no history.

Your mother from Argentina?

Tu padre de Peru?

He doesn’t look like your father.

Is he your real father?

You look white.

Why don’t you just say you’re from here?

Can’t cook,

slightly anorexic.

Middle-class.

Catholic school—yes, okay—we’ll accept that.

Pero Buddhist—spiritual—Unitarian Universalist? ¿Qué es eso?

You only read books in English.

Never read Don Quixote/

tried to read Don Quixote.

Didn’t you leave behind the entire Spanish language?

(but sometimes it’s home)

Didn’t you leave home?

More than once?

The daughter

should stay home.

No husband, no hijos?

Too queer.

 

(not queer enough,

but that’s another poem)

Middle-aged,

sola sola sola.

Familia es todo.

What is home?

What is home?

you listen to Kingdom of the Sun: The Inca Heritage

(is this your culture

or the need to prove your culture)

you read Nelly’s story in the liner notes—

the nuns at school

teach her

singing

is a sin

a musicologist

records Nelly’s father, Don Luis Camasco, with his band of musicians/ guitar makers—

Conjunto Mensajeros Dos de Mayo

they lift their songs

late into the night

Nelly listens

finally, one night, her father says—you’re my daughter

finally, the musicologist says—the nuns didn’t know

all there is

so she sings

the musicologist takes notes—

“a voice harsh from disuse but full of spirit”

you listen

you are not her

she is not you

every voice

is a story

her voice

is a story

hers

alone.

 

Andrea Dulanto is a Latina queer writer. Degrees include an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Florida International University, and a B.A. in Literature and Women’s Studies from Antioch College in Ohio. She has worked as a writing instructor, a freelance writer, and editor. In 2016, she was awarded an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. Publications include Gertrude Journal, The Kenyon Review, BlazeVOX, Court Green, and Sinister Wisdom.

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