The In-Between by Emilia Ruiz

The In-between
Emilia Ruiz

Sidewalk cement littered with the names
Of strangers.

This cityscape, monochrome.
Its manufactured color
Vibrant in its artificiality.

This is the place I call home.


It does not claim me its resident.

I exist in-between the blue lines of notebook paper,
In the space occupied behind a word,
The text behind a page.

A hybrid of aquí and allá.
Because my accent is “missing”
And yet is “gringa”
Y yo puedo hablar español
Pero no el español de mis padres.
I am not American.
I am Mexican.

Yo no soy mexicana.
Soy americana.

The language that slips past my lips
Is incomplete.
A dialect of my own invention.
Incomprehensible and grating on the ear canal,
Like nails on a chalkboard,
Or the deafening white noise that constitutes the human picture.
A cacophony of heavy L’s and rolling R’s and missing S’s.

A half-blood language.

A fractured language.

Accompanied by a brown face and a ”white-washed” tongue.


Emilia Ruiz is a 21-year-old writer from Charlotte, NC, majoring in English and Spanish lit. She enjoys piña coladas and getting lost in the rain.

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