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Lee Oct 2018
It is sweet like the middle of May
Moldable like Taino clay
Its juices stick to my skin because it knows about sweet tooths
The cravings crash into my body like waves do the sandy shores that harbor its trees
Shake shake shake
Till 10 fall from the tall tree
I try to grab them all but people weren’t meant to hold that much greatness
My small hands grab the biggest and the smallest
Peeling off its green and orange skin
Letting the sweet juices create art on my body
My teeth sink into sweet orange flesh
Reminding my body that this taste goes back for generations
Who knew fruit could time travel
An ode to my favorite fruit
Lee May 2017
Our love was like Snapchat
Good in the moment
Gone after ten seconds
  May 2017 Lee
Sar Lopez
In Spanish, VIVIR means To Live, the proper conjugation of which to when you say something as improper as “I live” would simply be translated to “Yo Vivo”.
I live, as a Colombian-American.
I live, as “You don’t look Hispanic”
I live, “Woah! You and your brother look nothing alike. You’re so… white.”
I live, “My mom came home once and talked about a man who simply replied with a horribly pronounced “Me gusta” when my mom said she was Hispanic.”
I live, “My dad condones abusive behavior because he thinks Latina aggression is ‘****’”
I live, my mom asking me “Would you rather celebrate the Sweet Sixteen or have a quinceanera party?”
I live, as the white boy sitting across the room in Spanish class asking “When will I need this in real life?”
I live, as the “Yes I DO have a friend with a skin complexion similar to mine, and yes, he is Hispanic.”
I live, most of my friends are beautiful people of color.
I live, when will you open up the tab in Google and search some Hispanic History to fill your mind instead of “Latina ****”?
I live, the messages on the Internet saying “You’re Hispanic? I bet you’re great in bed.”
I live, there are NO gender neutral nouns in Spanish
I live, yes I DO love coffee
I live, no it did NOT stunt my growth
I live, one kiss per cheek at family meet-ups
I live, “Eskimo” nose rubs
I live, "if you’re hispanic, why aren’t your ears pierced?"
I live, being expected to remember Spanish just because it was my first language, but growing up with an American dad made me whiter than fresh bed-sheets sold in America, made in South America, Hecha en Peru.
I live, my mom breaking into tears as she is so proud that I can sing in Spanish
I live, my mom used to be so embarrassed, when I replied “un poco” to her friends asking “Tu Hablas Espanol?”
I live, "if you’re Hispanic, is your mom an Alien?"
I live, "But your dad looks so white!"
I live, being subject to racism hidden in a joke, hidden in a remark about how pale I am, hidden behind a judgmental look, hidden behind a scoff, a laugh, a pity shrug, a fetishized assumption.
I live the bulletproof clothing and horrible crimes I am warned about when I say I wanna go to Colombia I wanna go to my mom’s home.
I live, as a Colombian-American.
I live.
Yo vivo.
I wrote this when I was really r e a l l y angry ****, sorry.
Lee May 2017
My heart breaks every spring break
It breaks for kids like me who watch as others visit their home countries
While we cannot leave the USA
We have to sit and watch people butcher bachata
Watch how they're hips refuse to accept something other than Taylor swift
We listen when they come back with stories of how they thought our food was too different and not “Mexican” enough as if all Latin America is Mexico
We hear the laughs they make at our cousins back home for just being themselves
My heart cannot handle the privilege they wear on their sleeves when they come back
Knowing I might never see my own island
How I am thought it is ***** and dangerous
A place where girls should not be left alone
While they get the clean streets, they get to avoid the gangs
How they assault our girls
Don't tell me to just save my money and go next year
It is not that simple
We don't stay in your resorts
We live en el capital y los campos nunca los hoteles y la vida blanco
Aka the places you never set foot
You go to my island
You buy bracelets de mi bandera
You try to live my roots
But complain when I dare show pride for my people
The hypocrisy breaks my heart
It's blood pours onto my all American soil
Is my island nice?
Tell me do the trees sway as if they are dancing to Anthony Santos?
Do the branches act as the leading man guiding the leaves to swing their stems to beat?
Does the Dominican anthem ring in the hearts of the people
A pride that is new and vibrant radiating off their faces
How they have clear all their schedules to make sure you see the highlights of our land
When you eat do you feel as though each bite was made with the love of thousand of abuelas?
Can you envision the hours she spends over a hot gas stove stirring los habichuelas y arroz
Using what little food they have left over to feed you over their own blood?
Tell me does my island make you proud?
It makes my heart filled with joy
To know my people did something right that you would walk the same land as slaves
That somehow we got enough pride to make sure you had a good time that you were safe that you can have whatever you wanted
On my island
Tell me, what left is there to complain about?
Mi isla es mi corazón, mi sueño, es mi vida
Pero to you it is just another week out the calendar
My heart will break every march
Because when you come back you complain how in the Dominican Republic no one spoke to you in English
And I worry, how you think when Dominicans come here we should speak English
But when you come to our home you don't want us to speak our language
Your hypocrisy hurts
My island does all it can to make you happy
But you are never pleased
What more can we do
You take pieces of us and use them in your portrait of appropriation
You take our pride and use it as joke
My heart breaks
For the children like me
Never seeing their land
Except on Instagram in the middle of march
Lee Apr 2017
The day the ships came my ancestors we not of the aware of the forced melting *** that would come into existence
The combination of french and spanish confused the delta slaves
Little did they know that neither language would stick on their burnt excuses of  tongues
The days the ships came New Orleans became the beacon of mulatos
And although the conquistadors could **** and beat their slave wives
Their spanish advances were not reciprocated due to lack of of heat to complete the melting
The languages that conquered the delta were combined into something that no outsider would want to encounter
That’s why the Americans came and took it like they did the rest of the country
They mistake the magic for voodoo then rebranded it for themselves
Centuries later the delta is still a melting ***
But it’s one my grandmother’s tongue was forced to forget
Her languages were lost next to her mulatto slave ancestors, left to spoil
So now when people ask
“If you’re hispanic why can’t you speak spanish?”
I can barely find the words in english to explain the years of torture my tongue has endured
When spanish speaking couples walk into my work
My tongue is eager to spill words it wishes it had the ability to create
My blood begins to hate itself over the fact that a third of itself is unrecognizable
My tongue is still waiting for the new boats to arrive and reconcer it
All it knows is to be conquered
No self defense here
When all you know is to be conquered
It becomes a challenge to think for oneself
My tongue can’t decide if english, spanish or french is better
My creole mind is yelling thousands foreign curse words not knowing which one is a true sin
Maybe the sin here is letting the burner stay on too long
The day the ships came
My slave ancestors looked at their spanish lovers and said
“My love, what shall we do once the french arrive?”
With their eyes looking into the horizon the conquistadors replied
“Es no problema para mi, pero tu, tu es la propiedad de estos”
Which according to simple history books means
“Good luck”
Lee May 2016
Please for the love of God help my people.

3.5 million U.S. citizens live on the island and are in need of help.

America you claim you want to help your people well let’s start with people who truly need it.

America your necessities are their luxuries.

Puerto Rico was not yours to begin with

But now that you’ve claimed us at least take care of us

We don’t ask for much

We are only asking for the ability to breathe and read books

I didn’t know that was such a high demand

My people are suffering

With no water to drink or bathe

We are left with the stench of hopelessness

Because America, you are more concerned with toupees

Than your own people

Yes, I did not stutter

Your people, Puerto Ricans

No not the immigrants because we are not immigrants

Our passports are twins not fraternal

Why do you like us when we hit a baseball or sing some tune on American Idol

We are doctors

We are cashiers

We are students trying to better our lives

We are a people begging for help

Do not look at us and turn away

My island was once a beautiful place where birds sang in harmony

And the coquis call smoothed the worst of souls

We don't know this island anymore because our island is America’s landfill

A place where the government tested nuclear bombs without thinking of its own people

The people are living on faint hope backed the knowledge that tomorrow probably won't be better

Why do you, America, want us like this

America you ask me why do I care so much about an island I haven't been to

I care because my roots flow back to the land 100 miles across the sea

One that I have the ability to call home from my rented home here

America, you created this land so people of all nations and backgrounds could have a chance at a better life

My people are still waiting for this promise to be fulfilled

America we beg you, help us

My people are suffering

We are tired of being the last pick for the team we didn’t even want to join

We are tired of the rottened mold you have put us in

So let this be a warning that your mold is finally falling apart because of your greed

Do not blame us for this

You are the hand clamped onto ours and forced us to cover our mouths

America, Puerto Ricans are ready to talk so we can live in harmony

All you have to do is take our hand off our mouths
With the debt increasing everyday I felt that I needed to do something to bring awareness of the state my precious island, Puerto Rico, is in. Spread the word, help my people please.
  May 2016 Lee
Colómbia’s eyes are brown
Colómbia’s hands have seen a lot of fighting

Colómbia, I don’t remember when I met you for the first time. Like I remember it, just not the day. I knew from the moment you pulled out your pack in the park where we were at; “this guy is trouble.”

Colómbia’s lips have done a lot of lying
Colómbia’s lies have begun to sound trusting

I saw it but only for a minute. It flashed across your eyes like the interest a lion takes in a lamb: food. You had cards and you played them well--overwhelmed but calm, cool, suave, and collected. You disclaimed some of the words you said with things like, “I’ve never told this to anyone before.” I knew you had. I have done and said some of the same things. I don’t have right to call myself “better” than you but man you were dark. My skin was in alliance with the moon.

The worst of matches—we did light many fires. Respect wasn’t in your vocabulary, it wasn’t something you made a practice of. I make a practice of knowing the right decisions and never making them like wisdom isn’t useful unless you use it.

Colómbia’s lungs are giving out
Colómbia can’t breathe
I numbed myself out so fire no longer burned. I couldn’t smell your smoke. I couldn’t see your cigarettes. I wouldn’t— you can change.

I cheer for the underdog. You were the dog under, hidden under the brush and bushes brown eyes waiting, meeting mine in the dark eclipse of the moon and the sun. I can’t say I was the victim; I looked for you. I preyed on the predator. You get what you wish for, when what you wish for is trouble.

We were actors and you had tactics and you carried out yours in different derisive methodical ways. We were sober chess players gulping hot bourbon on back porches watching the sun go down.
Colómbia’s feet have done a lot of dancing
Colómbia’s love is demanding
Colómbia’s heart is heavy but still standing

I met your mother and discovered what happened to create your collective pieces. She couldn’t take care of you. She couldn’t, when she was on the list  to walk back and her social security number wasn’t long at all. In fact it was ever too short just seven-hundred and sixteen people off.  You had nothing to lose and everything to gain. You had the biggest hate toward the world I had ever seen harboured in a person with such a short life time. You held the hatred right in the next to your heart, one would think you could die of such an overdose. You never capillaries were able to survive on such low trusting tolerance. You were never able see anything other than betrayal and disgust in all of humanity. Humanity was something you didn’t quite know the definition of because you broke all the rules and justified them by necessary means of surviving. Like knowing someone tried to love you mortified you, how could skin cells be so deceptive?

I think the tragedy in all of this is you felt you had no choice. So you made choices that transcended what you thought would be appropriated for you to defy all expectations and lower them. No way were you going to be told what to do. No way would you listen to what was “told.”No way that anyone was going to govern you not even when the judge decided you should have to go back to your roots, back to your yellow red and blue to color the mess of your disobedient insides. Education wasn’t a formal institution for you. You attended the school of “cayate! Estoy hablando!” You learned by ways of gunshots and money trades. You understood that money talks and is universal in all tongues. You spoke many tongues, and for a short while, one of them was mine.
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