Armando Cid Coyote

by Evelyn Vidaca

Querida niña morena,
You are the scariest human being to ever exist
Because you were born with the wrong shade in your flesh,

Wrong gender,

And wrong socioeconomic background.

Black and brown bodies are being murdered around you daily

Your reproductive rights are hanging on the opinion of old white men

Tu barrio
being gentrified by these hot shot corporations

Your homeboys and homegirls falling into the void of drugs

Your hood being polluted by the capitalist state
Your parents living
encerrados por miedo a ser deportados

And to top it off..having to live within these walls that separate others like you from the rest of the world

Yet here you are, standing without a quiver in your lip

Spitting at the face of oppression.

For that reason alone, you are extraordinary.

This is for you.

This is for every Brown Girl who has had her
pants on since day one of conception

And has only gotten bolder and louder as she has grown older.

This is for every brown girl who learned to value her voice and her independence

And does not back down from anyone.

I can make declarations of love in Spanish,
porque aprendí a amar en español.

And I can fight with my words unlike any other cabronx in English because I had to learn to fight,
To defend myself and to speak up for for those who couldn’t in that language.
Lengua de serpiente, le dicen.
Dear Brown Girl, if you have a split tongue, too, don’t be ashamed of it.
Embrace it.

Porque aunque haya miedo, no nos van a callar.