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Dante May 2019
I hope you know that this is foreign land.
I hope you know that when the men and women of home told me,
“You are a fool to dream”, I grew to despise their voices.
That when they told me travel was ludicrous, black was sin, and I a devil because I was a 12 year old autistic child,
I grew to despise their land.
It was not my land, I’d say. It was theirs. It was their rotting green, their putrid sand, La Isla Del Encanto.

I hope you know that this is foreign land.
I hope you know that when I left the Island, I left that house.
It was all I knew; the house, el pueblo. The men who saw me with hungry eyes. The moriviví sprouting from the wood. The church whose women scorned me.
The grave my father slept in.

I hope you know it was a terrible thing, the bone thrown at me, the thing I had to eat because nobody knew to give me meat.
Marrow. The only love I’ve ever known.

You must know. This is foreign land.
This place you call free, this place with flag blood-stained and heavy.
This place I cannot seem to breathe in, where I cannot sit without first buying coffee even if my voice cannot come out, where my head is wanted because my mind is a darkened white, my skin is muddied by race, my eyes are black, black like your wood deer and owl– and I hear the voices of the men and women from home who learned from the white man to say— black is sin.
My skin was made to be loved by the sun, my nails were grown from the bark of the tree en los montes. I am carved from the stories my teacher told me of los Taínos, and slashed with the lesson that Cristobal Colón was a man to be celebrated.

I hope you know your land is foreign.
I hope you know your flag is bloodied.
I hope you know that when I stand on your soil, my body knows

it is not free.
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
in this world
the drums of scrap
steps leading
CIA man nodded
neutralize it.

"So we understand yes?"

"Fascinating."

massacre

Understood?
Saddam Hussein
On her next stopover in Basra
black-Nigel, came kissing?
Written from random pages in his novel.
How easy it is to forget.

When it doesn’t affect you.

When the ones lost, weren’t your loved ones.

How easy it is to forget when it wasn’t your child on the receiving end.

When it wasn’t your daughter shrieking for help as some man had his way with her.

Indirectly telling her, her body only exists his pleasure.

How easy it is to forget when it wasn’t you that missed the call that may have allowed you to talk your son down from that ledge.

How easy it is to forget when your mother makes it home, and you didn’t even think to worry.

How easy it is to forget, when your father won’t get mistaken for an immigrant.

It’s easier to forget the horror when your family isn’t the one being torn apart.

You see how easy it is to forget, when it’s not their sisters and brothers being left for dead.

You see how easy it is to forget, when the bodies don’t look like you.
Flint Michigan still does not have clean water. Puerto Rico is part of America. The veterans you love so much are jobless and homeless.
It's been more than a hundred years now
Since I started coming home and ****** you

When I first started, you used to look like yourself
Now you're a mix of me and you

Do you even resemble yourself anymore?
Do you still look in the mirror anymore?
Do you see yourself in you still?

I, the ******* man in this relationship
Won you as a prize. You're a token.
I've put you through all this ****
And as a result, you're just broken

You're not ******* on the **** like a child
You were given to me when you were weak and wild

Weak and mild, you never got a chance to thrive by yourself
See, I wasn't the first man to ******* over

Look at that history, baby
Look at that long line of Spaniard influence

I've felt you up,
Walked your mountains,
Seen your castles,
Traversed your beaches,
Been shown your Capitol,

And I don't weep for those Tainos
I saw pictures of them on your walls;
What's that about? Do you still love them?
You better not show your love to anyone else, you hear?
Are you here? Are you listening? Well, listen up.
I said: You shall have no lovers before me, you hear?

See, I'm a jealous god. I rule you, you understand?
Or should I say, tu entiendes? Is that better?
You get me now? You feel me now?

Well I haven't stopped feeling you.
In fact, I'm sending over my colleagues
To feel you too

Here,
Have my big pharma
Have my baggage
Have my tourists
Have my people
Have my taxes
Have no representation
Have none of the benefits
Ten decepcion

Ay, si, que decepcion

Look at yourself. Do you even speak Spanish anymore?
Do you still remember how to?

Come on, just forget about that.
I can't speak it, and you know it's disrespectful
To speak it in front of people who can't
So just don't

Matter fact, all I'ma allow you to do is sit there

And take it

Take it like the ***** I made you into
Take it like I've conditioned you to
Take it and don't argue with me
Take it, or I'll toss you to the sea

You don't wanna drift off, now, do you?
You see, come June, you'll have to choose
Now what exactly are you gonna do?
I never stop pondering it, too

Like what will happen when you tell me you want to break up?
You think I'm gonna take it? You've got it backwards:
You take it in this relationship--not me

And what happens if you wanna be respected?
Do you really expect it
To force me to give you back everything I stole from you?

Well, I cannot say I know what will happen either
But be realistic: don't expect me to stop hurting you
It's what I do
I visited Puerto Rico once to figure out how the people there wanted things to be and whether or not they were satisfied with how things were right now. I got a lot of mixed answers, but this poem is basically my synthesis of those findings and my observations on that trip.

note: the narrator is America. This metaphor of husband and wife, abuser and abused, is borrowed from a poet called Propaganda, who used it to describe the relationship between America and black people.
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.
JoJo Pantoja Feb 2016
I fell in love with the sky tonight.
it was so open and so big.
The stars were shinning so bright just like the city light ahead of us.
I lay at the sidewalk of the San Juan Memorial & felt at peace.
Feeling the breeze that the ocean waves were creating.
The path was dark which made it better to see the stars and all the city lights.
it was perfect
It was super late….
3am
but it was perfect.
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Laying on the rock path/side walk of the San Juan Memorial building

— The End —