As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Samantha I. McQuibban – Poetry

Mi lengua over there

 

Filled,

like papa relleno—

rich &

“spicy’’

sabor,

full of rrrrr’s

that roll

American tongues

into

discomfort

It doesn’t feel

right to

foreigners.

 

Warm

as the kitchen,

baking

saltenas in

the oven.

peppers

dress

la mesa,

jalepeño

 

 

y aji—

biting the seed,

reminds you

power

comes

from the

smallest

beginnings.

 

Thick

like guava

pulp

sliding down

Swarovski

rims

inside

of country clubs

Como?

Que?

Carajo!

quiet please.

you are meant

to visibly

invisible.

 

Semantics

 

Tangled twice over,
languages thread together,
two needles,
tie them loosely at the
—————————————-ends

they unravel
———in-tu:
hola
———how is todo?
Y su cousin?
———No me digas…
Did she make it
to Bolivia
sin problemas?
Tell her to send me
aji colorado
———and that sauce
———you pour over
———papas and eat
———with
———hard boiled eggs.
———She knows it reminds me of home.


En Español
ignorance is feminine,
delicate and blind.
Time is masculine,
strong hands move each
minute.

this tongue, my tongue, her tongue,
tied,
unlike
his.

 

Oye mami, que tu name is?
Pssst, pssst, come here!
Ay que linda.
Did you see the body on her?!
Diablo mami! Que Dios te bediga!
———Ignorance is feminine?

 

How do you say I love you?
Te quiero, Te amo.
Two ways?
Two ways!
———the latter holds on longer.
He says it, she shows it.
———His speech is sticky white rice,
———plain and there.
Her speech is chicken and peas,
———the arroz is spiced with sazon.
Both parties have picky palates,
———neither thinks the other is cooked right.

 

 


Sam_in_VersaillesSamantha McQuibban is a freelance writer who holds a B.A. in English from George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY – Brooklyn College. Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, by way of Silver Spring, Maryland, she has freelanced since the age of 19 –contributing articles to publications such as Urban Latino Magazine, The AVE and 944. Inspired by pioneers such as Gloria Anzaldua and Amiri Baraka, she aspires to fine tune her poetic voice.

 

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