Sidewalk cement littered with the names
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.
The language that slips past my lips
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.