I am Puerto Rican Enough

Titi Negre told mami that I was una arepentida, a gringa. Because I was born in N.Y. I wasn’t a real Puerto Rican…

As if I’m supposed to be ashamed of the crumble the Twin Towers left in my throat and all debris still jammed in my chest; those airplanes crashed into me too.

Like if being from NY meant that coquis don’t sleep on my tongue; how else do I explain to my lover all the Yunque between my thighs even though this body is nothing exotic and everything lush?

The Salsa music in my veins; I sing each song like the era I was born in and the generation who raised me. I sip on that shit like a sopa, to feel better.

I know my Spanish is broken. That’s because broken is all I know. Like the inside of my uncle’s nose from addiction, the men I keep fucking, the homes I keep trying to build with them, the uterus that won’t reproduce again, my self-esteem.

My respect, love and appreciation to El Morro. It reminded me about the tenement buildings, all the times I used the fire escapes as a fort, to hide, for protection. It reminded me of all the Morro mami wasn’t, unable to protect her little girl’s vagina, all the bombs that exploded and all the suicide attempts I keep hidden in it.

San Juan’s blue cobblestone streets reminded me of my stretch marks, a tourist spot with a personal tour for one. The blue on my baby’s face when he was born. The stone in my mother’s heart when she told me to get an abortion when I was 6 and a half months pregnant, the streets I almost lived on when she threw me out, the home she did not provide, the home I wish her arms were, the home my dad and uncle had to create for me on their couch, the paradise I wasn’t living.

All the attitude and fight in me, like the current state of the island, like I’m the one trying to pay off that 7 billion dollar debt, like I’m the one trying to feed my family on $4.25 an hour, like my son was a student in one of the 100 schools shut down by the ecominc crisis, like I’m the last political prisoner being held for the last 35 years 3 months and a day. I know all about wanting to be free; I’ve been an emotional prisoner to my internal demons all my fucking life!!!

I have coquis laying on my tongue. Airplane debris jammed in my chest with rain forest thighs.

I am Puerto Rican enough, Titi Negre…