Hey Girl

"Hey Girl
 What's your name?!"

You exclaim
As I walk by you plain
in a grocery line

I don't stop, roll eyes
Continue to walk away
Go peacefully about my day 

"Didn't mean to be rude, I just mean  you look good.
So I just gotta know where you from"

Take a deep breath, don't engage
Don't fill yourself with rage
No time or energy to explain

That the blood in your veins is too thick to be boiled
To tell the story of where your roots are soiled.

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"But you look so exotic - 
With round eyes and hips thick 
- Tell me, what are you mixed with?"

What am I mixed with?
As if I could be summed up in two parts
As if that could encompass all that is in my soul
in my heart

And let me attest, that these assets 
- a gift I have with been blessed -
are gifts I have inherited 

From my mother, and her mother and father's mother
And all the mothers before
These hips, children they bore

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"But just tell me, very quickly,
What exactly is your ethnicity?"

So again, I take a deep breath
This question, so simple and yet so complex
Should I take the time to explain
That my ancestors - from this land they came

And where I am from, not so easily determined
With the borders that have been drawn
And the lives that they've burdened 

And here I am, wanting to shoo you away
Anxiously waiting to go about my day
So in attempts to end your requests I say

"My name was a gift to me my parents gave
To allow me to know that my own road I would pave

In my blood, filled in my veins
Is lands of desert skies and tropical rains

Before settlers and colonizers came and took this land
It was once known as the kingdom of Atzlan

Here I was born, and here I remain
So show some respect the next time you ask a girl her name"

Top: Repurposed Shirt

Screen Print By: Self Help Graphics and Honor the Earth

Artwork By: Kim Smith & Ginger Dunill

Photos by: Salpy Talian

Location: Silverlake, Los Angeles

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