I started this piece as a tribute to the luminescent brothers whose lives were stolen in Minnesota: Philando Castile and George Floyd. It has morphed into a reflection on the battle for black lives and black breaths, that I've witnessed since childhood, and on one's political formation within the colonized communities of the US empire... crumbling.
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.
Vieques continues to be a portal to some other decolonial dimension, and I am ever grateful./ Vieques sigue siendo un portal a alguna otra dimensión decolonial, y vivo siempre agradecida.
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.
Politics and colonialism, like borders are man-made constructs. I no longer believe in another’s fantasy of having jurisdiction over me. We die too much, too quickly to let that be.
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.
Not knowing, not honoring our history is hella dangerous territory. It leaves us celebrating the heroes and tenets of our colonizers, while stomping on the graves of our own. It is not dollars we are needing, but dignity.
It is time to focus on the colonial classroom, the empire’s primary battleground. The threat goes beyond school closures. It includes the continued attack on the one public university system in Puerto Rico. It is embodied by a white North American secretary of education with an inflated salary, while her school children constituents are sacrificed at the austerity table of odious debt. It resounds in the arresting, pepper spraying and tear gassing of people protesting injustices like these. Ultimately the colonial battle is waged daily on the minds and on the psyches of the colonized, with schools cunningly crafted for the conformity and conditioning of the colonial subject.
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
The colony was formerly on life support with enough real estate, restaurants, casinos and electric lights to mask its reality. It was kept breathing by a machine so that when the lights went out, it would signal the end. The lights have been out for 7 months.
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.
These two spirits "con la tea en la mano," light up what needs to be lit up, torch what needs to be torched. They are the guerrilla goddesses Frida Kahlo and Julia de Burgos. They are my muses, my guides. I follow them wherever they take me. I was not allowed to paint them till... 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 →
On January 6th, Three Kings Day here in Puerto Rico, I received a gift via email. It was an invitation from Occupy Museums to participate in their Debt Fair Project, a collective installation as part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial. 10 of us were invited specifically to represent the case of the debt crisis in... 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 →