Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Puerto Rican Discovery #3: Not Neither

Being Puertorriqueña-Dominicana
Borinqueña-Quisqueyana
Taina-Africana
Born in the Bronx. Not really jíbara
Not really hablando bien
But yet, not gringa either
Pero ni portorra
Pero sí, portorra too
Pero ni qué what am I? Y qué soy?
Pero con what voice do my lips move?
Rhythms of rosa wood feet dancing bomba
Not even here. But here. Y conga
Yet not being. Pero soy
And not really. Y somos
Y como somos–bueno,
Eso sí es algo lindo. Algo muy lindo.

We defy translation
Ni tengo nombre. Nameless
We are a whole culture once removed
Lolita alive for twenty-five years
Ni soy, pero soy Puertorriqueña cómo ella
Giving blood to the independent star
Daily transfusions
Into the river
Of la sangre viva.

Credit


Copyright © 1984 by Sandra María Esteves. Used with the permission of the author.

Author


Sandra María Esteves

Sandra María Esteves is the author of Bluestown Mockinbird Mambo (Arte Publico Press, 1990) and Yerba Buena (Greenfield Review, 1980). A member of the Nuyorican movement, she lives in the Bronx.

Date Published: 2017-09-14

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/puerto-rican-discovery-3-not-neither