United States
34° 0' 56.106" N, 117° 35' 16.9656" W

I have no culture.

No, apparently this is possible:

For one to have NO culture.

Because culture is based on social

Groupings based on mutual

Ethnicity, Language, Culture, Interests, Music, Ideals...

But, for me, these are never the same.

But, I just can't decide who to blame.

Of course, my pain should be my shame

Because this is 'Murica, where every man is self-made.


Yes, I made myself Black. I made myself Female, Latina, Middle-class, Poor.

Next in line for life, I looked at all the unborn bodies

And picked the one most likely to fail.


I must have known when I popped out in that skin

That I would be underpaid and overworked

And sworn to men because I picked the vagina with melanin 

And almost enough money.

And I would choose that beautiful body all over again, but...




Don't tell me these faults are my own,

That I voted to be counted as three-fifths of a man

Or to work twice as hard for a home.

That I am a dummy, a looter, the source of all America's crime

(*spoiler alert, white collar crime doesn't count

in the criminal justice system, otherwise known as

Codename: Slavery 2.0). 


I am not Black enough

Because I speak well, I write well, and I like learning.

How can I understand the struggle? Do I deserve that culture?


I am not Puerto Rican enough

Porque "suportar" no es "apoyar", y lo aprendí en una salon de clase.

How can I understand my people? Do I deserve that culture?


I am not American enough

Because my skin is not white, and I have an opinion.

Why can't I just shut up and salute the flag? Do I deserve my freedom?


I am not rich enough

Because I can't buy myself a college education.

I must not deserve that either.


I am not poor enough

Because my mother grew up in the projects, but she wanted better for her kids.

So, obviously, I don't deserve financial aid.


So, who am I? A middle-class black girl? Or, a poor, smart Latina? An African? An American?

The answer is: None.

I can't take pity because "Who the hell do you think you are?"

I can't be helped because "Well, you're well-off enough."

Black culture rejects me. Boricua culture neglects me.

American culture subjugates me and expects me to take the blame.


So I do.


And I fight twice as hard for everything:

To prove my b=Blackness

To prove myself Latina

To prove myself well-off

To prove myself poor

To prove myself intelligent

To prove myself hungry

To prove myself worthy of equal consideration.


To prove myself worthy of a culture and a country

That welcomes me with open arms.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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