A pocha addressed

The look was like lightning spitting onto an old tree,setting it on fire
The dread and fear of wanting to hide leaves you with a sense of wholeness as they begin to ask where you are from
The answer comes out proudly if not jumbled
Your mouth wakes up for once your brain remembers what to say
“Yo soy de Tejas. ¿Y tu?”
They are happy
Happy to see a fellow Latino, a Latina in this land of rice and plum wine
Where stepping onto the train turns into a biblical reference
Going to the Seiyu leads to confused glances into your basket of wontons,peanut butter, chili paste and coconut oil
Summer affords you cringey glances as you walk down the streets in all your caramel skinned glory, no umbrella to shield you
Curls bouncing amid a sea of straight hair

You are happy
Happy to know the looks and smiles of other Hispanics
That you stuck the landing and were welcomed with your weak Spanish
Judgemental looks that you had prepared for was not there

They smile and chat making you feel less like a Pocha
Less of what you had made as a badge of pride out of protection
A step in the journey of being more of a Latina
Less alone on your solo trip
They offer to invite you to drink
You want to, but you worry as a female
You thank them and wish them the best at their jobs and watch them leave
Happiness slowly drying up in your mouth like a rice cracker
You become swallowed up by the crowds,
You are now alone again
You wished you had accepted later that night as you ride the night bus back home
The words fading in your mouth

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