I cannot remember when my tongue
began to twist in the ways of
the American lexicon, but I remember
the twisted road to the promised
land of the attempted murder
on my soul, the constant death
threats on my mind, the broken
words and phrases memorized
and still meaningless—and my
first tongue slowly dying in
shamefulness as I learned how
to mimic those who never cared
for my education, as their broken
language attempted to fix mine;
and then, one day, as magical words
left my mother’s holy lips, I realized
that my first language had never
truly been mine, and my second was
to be my third as my goddess
told me stories of ancient women
who spoke to the earth as they helped
give birth to generations of
magical children, and yet someone
had attempted to make me a mere
mortal.
Jesus Cortez is a poet from West Anaheim, California. He is a child of a single mother who immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 9. Jesus has been writing since high school. His work is inspired by life, struggles, and hope.
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