Where I’m From

Where I’m From*

I’m from the Andes, from its 
peaks and valleys and rivers 
carving the rhythms of cumbia, 
salsa, and bambuco on my skin.

I’m from the eje cafetero, 
from its rich soil, dark with 
colonization and coffee beans and
dame un tintico, por favor.

I’m from the soft sands of South Beach,
from backyard games and beachside 
barbeques. I’m from the before—
and the after and the now.

I’m a mountain girl in the magic city, 
bred with frijoles, sancocho and Burger King.

I’m from roll your tongue, m’ija, ole, niña.
I’m from enunciate your words and sit up straight,
from no te madures biche, even as I brushed 
blush in my school bus’ backseat.

I’m from shattered glass and brokendreams, 
from Papi don’t scream and
Mami don’t cry, from walks beneath a 
bleeding sky and sueña con los angelitos.

I’m from buñuelos and natilla, from
novenas and Noche Buena and 
from don’t you dare forget 
where you came from.

*Winner of the 2017 Finding Home contest and originally published on April 17, 2017 in The Young Adult Review Network (YARN)