Cubana-Americana

Co-written by my friend and trusted poet, Annabella 'Anni' Gonzalez

Democracy and Democrats, I thought they coexisted

I grew up hating communism, and yet I still do

It rid my veridian paradise of its prosperity--

You read that Cuba has a 98 percent literacy rate.

But what is that good for when my parents

Drowned beneath crests in an attempt to survive only to leave their success behind,

for a country that treats them like dogs.

 

Demócrata y democracia, como si uno no pudiera existir sin el otro.

Ingenieros se convirtieron en perros de la calle,

sin valor, sin clase, sin nombres.

Sin dignidad,

Designados a cien años de soledad.

De la tierra construyeron una ciudad,

La ciudad del progreso,

Hialeah: agua, fango, y factoría.

 

Is it Sophia or Sofia?

I think in 2 languages,

In the language of my birthright

Or the language of my parents.

Am I a master of any?

Or just a master of none?

 

Soy muy cubana para los gringos.

But too American for the Cubans.

 

Del comunismo,

De varadero,

De Pinar del Río,

De lo ultimo que quedo del paraiso caribeno,

Designada a una vida de doble conciencia.

 

A double conscience life,

The id and superego in a constant battle.

When I speak,

Do I speak in English or in Spanish?

With an accent or without?

Is it Sophia or Sofia?

 

Agua, fango, y factoría.

La vida de inmigrantes con un café de la Carreta,

O una imagen de la vida privilegiada,

Pero el dinero no resuelve la realidad.

Tráfico como las pausas que tomo cuando hablo,

Pensando en dos lenguajes, a la derecha o a la izquierda?

Que estoy sacrificando para una vida de alta clase?

 

I can't pretend to be someone I am not.

I fumble my words

And I speak too quickly

Constantly translating,

Not just words but personalities,

Am I my friends at lunch

Or am I my mother when she’s cleaning?

 

Se me olvidan palabras,

Como se me olvidan las caras de mis familiares,

Las 90 millas se sienten como una cortina de hierro,

La Yuma contra Cuba,

como si no co-existieran.

Mi Bella Isla,

tan lejana,

como te han maltratado,

como oro por tu recuperación.

 

I can’t recover lost memories of past trips.

Suddenly, it feels like the 1950s,

Stepped into a different time period,

the cars are a facade of the pre-revolutionaries.

Behind closed doors,

they whisper communist curses.

 

Gusanos,

Le dieron luz a hijas con doble conciencias,

 

Holding onto our identity like its our saving grace,

when did it become a choice?

 

Cubana Americana es una palabra,

una identidad,

una persona,

 

I know it’s Annabelluh AND Annabella.

But suddenly,

I’m surrounded by people whose parents are doctors and lawyers,

who never gave up a life to start another,

who never had to pick between country or death.

 

Patria o muerte,

Decido muerte, no patria,

 

I pick Democrat and Democracy.

 

Poetry Slam: 

Comments

upnorthdavid

Great poem. Gracias por tomar el tiempo!

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