mother, keep your think black
lion-maned hair and your bronze
off of me:

i am not a Latino poet.
i am not a voice for your
i am not the Chicano Savior.
i am not a wind from the Yucatan.
i am not a migrant pen
to be used when my father
is held
down to pick up
little sweetnesses for
Gringo mouths.
i am not a samba or a salsa
with rhythms
that make you sway
blindly to tribal
i am not a caramel wonder—
a surprise to all as
some success that made
it from oppression
that you allow to happen
in your own house.
i am not a cry of conquistadors
with thunderous cannons
to rape some supple
fertile woman called
(whom i have never
i am not ln love with Texas:
to be bigger is a thing
that makes me smaller
in my mind.
i am not my grandfather's grandson:
a generation after
generations after generations
of labor.
i am not this eagle
perched upon a cactus between
fields and blood that
drip as darkness dies
and whiteness rides.
i am not your Hispanic wish
to dig you out
of your hole you've dug
with slurs
and puffs and rides
and chains.
i am not your Catholic child—
a slave to a rosary;
a mindless follower of
a vengeful God spread by
vengeful men.

mother, keep your thick black
lion-maned hair and your bronze
off of me: i am not a latino poet.

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