Carlos Garcia León
I came to the States within my mother’s arms
As she crossed terrains, freezing rivers, and internal fears
of her life, on the hope that my life would be not be hers
I came to the States and was met with ears that could not comprehend
For the language I spoke was not, what they called, theirs
For the language I spoke would never be theirs
I grew up in the States and was still looked at questioningly
Always told that I should think before I speak
That my rate of speech was too fast for anyone to understand
I grew up in the States slowing my tongue
To be on the same pace as they were
Since I did not have the luxury to be ahead of them
My tongue and my brain were changed in the States
Destroying thoughts because they took too much space.
Being ashamed of my rapid fire mouth
That was a mistake.
My tongue was always meant to be quick –
Spanish is a fast-paced language –
This adaptation burned down my voice.
It was meant to do so, then there is no reason to speak
Against those who opposed who I was, how I spoke.
I was a dreamer, I could have been another DACA recipient
My parents never lost their tongue, they acted fast to get my papers
But many never got that chance
I am learning to use my tongue against the States
how it was meant to, but with new skills
Picking up pace word by word
I dream in English now, society overcame my system
I’m rebelling it; using my English-prowess to speak fast against it
Against anyone who slows down tongues
Against anyone who clouds and darkens dreams
Against anyone who have rated my rate of speech as not worthy