Canto: This is the song. for when my Latino Literature class and I dread. that moment brown teacher points to us. have to read out loud the page in front. parentheses between the words Latina/o kids (in college even) can’t read and stumble over. let fry and clank, mash up our bean rice corn teeth mouth tongues. on syllables, can’t pronounce strange long words we weren’t taught in sucky CPS. insecure about reading. and always soft voice. too fast and staring at page. for few awkward forever seconds. when don’t know the word “precarious” in poem. paralyzing pressure affects silence. when you know s/he’s perplexed. know I've skipped word and sentence doesn't make sense now. you have to start over. everyone's waiting. and I can feel the weight of moment in your heart. moment that when it happens to all of us. just skip it. skip school. skip chances. and skip our voice. truth skips us. and rights and futures skip our children. and we begin to loose our Spanish to this silence too. and we don’t even understand ourselves anymore.
Grito: Por los que no entienden, y por los que si. Por “no speake ingles” y por “for why you go to de parque.” make you switch your soul and syntax, circumstance, religions, to fit our heathen history and make you worship our feathered panthered sunned browned gods. hairy hairless tongue your way. out of this one. you can suck it. out nopales y chile thorns up top your teeth. moist and molar mole mouth until you cry. ‘cause your children are talking words you can’t comprehend. and hate and love this place you’ve been dragged to. ‘cause back home is need and you’re always giving. clutter of useless phrases you’ll have to memorize. and agonize. we’ll roast lengua de white men, conquistadores in our blood dinner. when Mexico is taken back and we force you to wash our dishes and take your minimum of minimum wage to the currency exchange. in country you can’t or wouldn’t want to claim anyways. gritando with our loud-ass rancheros down Western and Astro vans con la Virgen on spare tire. grita, the sound of success when it’s a brown girl as president. through college y el movimiento. took kids y abuelitos al capital to cry. and brown girl presidenta just gave us Mexico without a war. all because of words. were proud to fumble with.