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Barely 17 years old, and yet
I’d fight with anyone who dared
To tell me that
Spanglish wasn’t
A language.

Spanglish was so deeply intertwined
With my identity, that any attempt
To invalidate it
Was an attempt
To invalidate me.

The only thing I knew how to speak where
I didn’t have to
censor, filter, or hinder
the only language learning
allowed at school.

How could something so natural be so wrong?
What tastes like café amargo to my abuela
Goes down like sweet honey for me,                                                                                                                 Welcoming, arms wide, it made me believe
That I was finally Dominican
No more of that gringa stuff
I was finally enough
to be claimed by a country that was never mine.

You can’t tell me Spanglish
isn’t a language
When that’s all an entire generation
knows how to manage.

I mean, yeah, we might not all have the same 
Vocab, verb usage, and syntax
And watch out
Because I’m about to spit some straight facts
But Spanglish is more than
The conventions of grammar
Spanglish is more than
Just a standard way of speaking.

Spanglish is what connects those
who have no connections
Reflects those
who have no reflections
of what it looks like to be accepted, despite your “broken understanding.”

But how can my Spanish be broken
when it makes me, feel whole?
How can my Spanish be broken
when that’s all I can roll 
on my tongue
singing songs unsung
of my emptiness
of my longing to be 
acknowledged that
I, too, am Latina.

Barely 24 years old, and yet
I’d argue with anyone who dared
To tell me that
Spanglish isn’t
A language.

Spanglish is so deeply intertwined
With my identity, that any attempt
To invalidate it
Is an attempt
To invalidate me.


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