From Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul

Child of the Americas

I am a child of the Americas, a light-skinned mestiza of the Caribbean, a child of many diaspora, born into this continent at a

I am a U.S. Puerto Rican Jew,
a product of the ghettos of New York I have never

an immigrant and the daughter and granddaughter of
I speak English with passion: It’s the tool of my
a flashing knife blade of crystal, my tool, my craft.

I am caribeña, island grown, Spanish is in my flesh,
ripples from my tongue, lodges in my hips:
the language of garlic and mangoes,
the singing in my poetry, the flying gestures of my

I am of Latinoamérica, rooted in the history of my
I speak from that body.

I am not african. Africa is in me, but I cannot return.
I am not taína. Taíno is in me, but there is no way back.
I am not european. Europe lives in me, but I have no
   home there.

I am new. History made me. My first language was
I was born at the crossroads,
and I am whole.

Aurora Levins Morales

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