Black Rock & Sage Issue 15 (2016)
All the Girls
by Galilea Lavariega
Todas las niñas are at the beach tryna tan
Pero I am here swimming in sunscreen
Porque the brown in my skin has got me in trouble.
Because the lady in the mall keeps a close eye when I show my mom a purse and
say “¿Que linda no?”
And when I place the bolsa down her eyes follow me around the store like flashing lights.
Todas las niñas are buying sombreros
And drinking tequila
Laughing because the fee-eh-stuh was such a fun idea.
Pero I am at home con box dye y toner
Tryna bleach the black from my hair
So la maestra will stop speaking to me in dos syllables at a time
Porque she thinks que no la pue-do en-ten-der.
Todas las niñas think my mom is ilegal
Y que I crossed the border at midnight
Pero the truth is que I was born here in California
And I can speak el ingles perfecto
But el Española is part of my tan skin and black hair
And I can try to strip los colores from my body
But the colors in my tongue are stubborn
And love to roll with every “r”
And love to dance to el ritmo de Cumbia
And I can’t pretender for long
That I am todas las niñas.