I helped sponsor this “Art, Activism, and Healing as Resistance” Poetry Writing Workshop with Amirah Mizhari and two student orgs on my campus. We were give the prompt “Write your relationship to a word, phrase, or name in your mother-language, or a food from home.
This is what I wrote:
I go to Platano down on University as a
Desperate attempt to taste a little piece of home
Savor the azucar morena, que baila en mi lengua natal,
But I am hit in the face with the americanized,
“AUTHENTIC Salvadoran Flavors,” that erases the
Sweetness of mis empanadas in an attemtp to succeed in this capitalist world.
Mis sabores no se vender, se comparten.
Mi cultura no es para tu placer. I am not a spectacle to be analyzed to enhance YOUR learning experience.
I am not an object of study, mi patria is not your book.
Mi cuerpo no es “for your entertainment.”
Mis empanadas lose their tender, melt in your
Mouth, run smoothly down your throat,
Resurrect your soul
Kind of power.
Because you ordered this
“Exquisite Salvadoran Delicacy,”
in an attempt to expand your cultural horizons.