Latinx Liminality

Featured Illustration: Manuela Alejandra Guillén


This brown skin is all I have ever known and kept close
The only place I have ever been that is both home and unknown

The one that blushes and bruises
And comforts and rouges
And bleeds, oh it bleeds

This brown skin that starts fires and washes away the rekindled
The one that pulls––––––––

down stars when they refuse to fall

This skin that sings smoothly in a distant language and tastes sweet
with the soured curling of the tongue

This skin that has taken in too many rays and too many lives
This skin that holds who it has hurt and who hurt it

This brown skin that does not ruminate itself brown
The one that does not align with the pigment

This brown skin made of blood-red and stained white
––with dashes of marble black and yellow, bright

Never falling nor failing to be all––and none––at the same time

This brown skin that survived

… has it at all learned to live?
… has it remembered to forget?
… has it rebirthed its humanity?

Briseyda Barrientos-Ariza

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