I Am Me

You say my accent is interesting
It shows I’m not you
I don’t understand your words even though I grew up knowing
I am me and you are you
I guess what I’m saying is well, what do you mean?
When you say that my accent is interesting
Are you trying to get to know me or assign me an identity?
Is the nopal que tengo en la frente a symbol too ambiguous to fully convince you?
When you’re unsure, do my words comfort you?
Because they are connected to the deserts and the cacti that are linked to the roots that you use to mark
Who I am to you
Does every syllable drip with the pressure…
To be Mexican
To be American
To hide
To remain hidden
Do you hear the uncertainty?
In the lack of being either
But the honor of being both
Have you finished figuring me out?
Because I don’t even know where I stand
The ground that you prop me up on is not as solid or smooth as you may think
It is made of sand
Slipping through your toes
Always being pulled and pushed to new adventures by playful waves
It is soft powdery dirt
Rising with each step
Creating clouds that constantly remind you to hold out your hand to guide others
The ground under my feet is not one but many
Because my ground, like others, is molded by more than an assigned identity
So do not plant me on your ground
Because my roots do not fully show that
I am me

Vanessa Martinez ’19
Contributing Writer 

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