I work to process the deep grief I hold for this Puerto Rico. The one that shakes every hour and waves, sways, pulses, taps, vibrates in between. I hold deep grief for the Puerto Rico of my mother’s dreams. The womb that held her when she was held in her own mother’s womb.
As she arrives a crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter anchor themselves in the sky, pulsing their light above the sunset. This is the hero’s welcome we receive when we uncross the journeys of ancestors.
She spreads me whole as a quilt beneath the sun like the sands at her shore. I cannot lay down my burdens, neither there nor at the riverside. Though heavy, there within lie the keys to my liberation./ No puedo dejar mi carga ni ahí, ni en las orillas de sus ríos. Aun siendo muy pesada la carga, dentro de ella están las llaves de mi liberación, pues cargo con ella.
We the survivors of genocide, who swam through fallopian tubes not yet tied, but soon to be cut. We set out with babies in tow, in search of the violated womb because if we return to her, we can wage reciprocal healing. We wade, swim, swallow salt waters whose currents still mark the road maps of our ancestors taken, our ancestors fleeing. We flee.
Vulnerability in bravery means pushing forward with all your wounds, gripping a shovel tight with bloody hands, digging past the mud to find the spaces and hearts where our ancestral ways thrive, where new liberatory ways are being weaved into existence./ Vulnerabilidad en valentía significa seguir palante con todas las heridas, agarrando la pala, manos ensangrentadas, excavando la tierra para encontrar los espacios y los corazones en donde nuestras tradiciones ancestrales prosperan, donde se tejen nuevas existencias libertas.
We rematriators aren’t born free. We are born into captivity. Why else would we need to make the political statement that we are returning to our lands, our ancestral ways? It is because conquest took us away.
My broken body colonized Was the space of incubation In which I myself Had to craft and manifest their liberation Through it I could envision doing the same for myself
Most moments of my day I’m trying to figure out a plan to acquire my own piece of land, to make my lifestyle completely sustainable, to embody the liberation that I strive to practice daily until we can acquire it fully. But sometimes the spirit needs to stop and look at the photos. Honor the moments, the memories, the lessons.
The art of darkness is the spreading of invincibility like smoke rising from el fogón. In essence, like celestial bodies in outer space, darkness cultivates visibility, which would make it not a tool of, but a weapon against colonialism.
Charco-crossers like myself arrive at a space where we feel divided: our bodies on one side, hearts and spirits in another. Our home on one side, work on the other. Many of us have either lived on each side or travel and work extensively on both sides. Others adhere to one side only, adopting and... Continue Reading →
We leave lands but cannot take the remains of our lost loved ones with us. We leave the monuments behind but bring the memories with us. My son who carries his name, also carries my brother's same birth mark on the bridge of his nose. I said goodbye to all of his Ozone Park and... Continue Reading →
"...you be colonial man You done be slave man before They done release you now But you never release yourself" -lyrics from "Colonial Mentality" by Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti My people are yet to be released. We are three times colonized: by Spain, by the United States and by our own selves. Colonialism is... Continue Reading →
The vast expanse of charco that separates you from your loved ones dissipates in the glow of parranda lights. They serpentine through las carreteras del valle del pueblo de Moca and up this hill. The sound of sadness is swallowed by sirens that guide aguinaldo asaltos blaring music and song from barrio to barrio. Your... Continue Reading →
Saturday, August 20th, 2016 marked my 3rd birthday in Borikén. Yeah I write this in October, two months after that birthday. Island time is not about clocks. It is about pausing to process everything along the way. It is about pausing to greet passersby, the ones you know and the ones you don't know.... Continue Reading →
It happens at random, unexpected, un-welcomed times. It happens with flashes of images, of sites, of memories imprinted in your mind. Flash of a desolate Atlantic Avenue heading into Jamaica, Queens. Flash of bunnies hopping over ancestral graves in Cypress Hills cemetery where Schomburg, Houdini and your whole departed family are buried. Flash of the... Continue Reading →