SOMOS Fall 2019

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FALL 2019

SOMOS LATINX LITERARY MAGAZINE

Representing Latinxs and Latinx Culture through Poetry, Non-Fiction, and Visual Art

Cover: papa y grandma by Nancy Jean Guerrero


Letter from the Editors

Dear Reader, This semester’s SOMOS magazine evokes questions of place and belonging pertaining to Latinx identities. The featured pieces dwell in the tensions that emerge between seemingly opposing identities and their corresponding cultural expectations. Uprooting the noise beneath silenced histories of migration and diaspora, you are invited toward a reenvisioned reality of self-definition. From intergenerational experiences of displacement and separation, these pieces transform dissonant chaos into new and vibrant rhythms. Through written and visual mediums, they foster bridging between conceptions and feelings of home — past and present. The magazine interrogates the duality of the masks that we outwardly project and the masks that are forcibly imposed upon us, creating a space for resilient counter-narratives. We challenge you to reflect upon the masks you hold and consider how they function as a source of protection and comfort or a source of erasure and othering. This project has been a labor of love and we are honored to have the opportunity to share it with you. Un abrazo, Teresa and Jimmy


Table of Contents Canção de deslocar El sky es el mismo everywhere que vas Joven en Rojo Intrinsic Border

6 Livia Gimenes 7 Estefany Delgadillo Gonzalez 8 Yolizbeth Lozano 9 Luz Aguirre

can you hear us drowning?

10 Felicita Devlin

Beyond the Binary

11 Felicita Devlin

Tengo Hambre yo y me Call Huerto The Surrender of a Cornrow Sistah NOTURNO Hijo de la Luna Cronica de una Mujer Boricua en el Verano del 2019

12 Natalie Olaya 14 Nancy Jean Guerrero 15 Livia Gimenes 16 Nico Page 17 Safiya Miller 18 Guilherme Trielle 19 Elena Aguirre 20 Marysol Fernández

Broad Street | Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard

22 Marta V. Martinez

Broad Street Overpass

23 Marta V. Martinez

Poesía no soy yo

24 Genesis Barrera

hermano y sister

25 Nancy Jean Guerrero

Mexica Dancer

26 Luz Aguirre

Mestizaje

27 Luz Aguirre

COMPOSIÇÃO ¡Te fuiste por el agujero! Antigua Mundos Aparte POEM(A)S

28 Guilherme Trielle 30 Sergio Amaral 31 Benjamin Bergman 32 Nicole Contreras 34 Alba Lara Granero


The Team Co-Editors-in-Chief Teresa Conchas ‘22 Jimmy Ryan Richmond ‘22

Layout Editors Yolizbeth Lozano ‘22 Brianna Kendall ‘20

Spanish Editors María Bolaños ‘21 Cristina Santos ‘21 Isabella Longoria-Valenzuela ‘22

English Editors Lu Guerrero ‘22 Davi Sapiro-Gheiler ‘23

Portuguese Editor Mara Cavallaro ‘22

Public Relations Isabella Steidley ‘23



Canção de deslocar Livia Gimenes

Minha Terra tem palmeiras onde canta o sabiá Minha Terra tem trópicos que veem a me desafiar Minha Terra tem palavras que veem a se cortar Minha Terra tem barulho, tem festa mas tem que fugir para não se calar Minha Terra tem amor mas meu amor não consegue durar Meu amor foi banido da terra Foi jogado para ilha, como se fosse uma ideologia Currupta maldita, minha terra não quis aceitar Minha Terra saiu, Minha Terra deu voltas Minha Terra me baniu mas me trouxe de volta Minha Terra tentou, minha terra abandonou As esperanças, esperando que o ouro fosse voltar e curar Esperando que o velho engenho não fosse se despedaçar Minha Terra tenta ser algo Mas tento ser algo que não sei se vai dar Eu continuo achando amor mas eu não sei se a minha terra vai gostar Minha Terra me achou mas não sei se ela me quer em outro lugar Minha Terra não tem palmeiras, não tem sabiás Não sei onde eu estou, não sei onde vou estar Minha Terra foi para ser Terra em outro lugar Pergunto se a minha um dia vai me ligar Para avisar que terra voltou e chegou para dizer que existe minha terra onde meu amor vai estar

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El sky es el mismo everywhere que vas Estefany Delgadillo Gonzalez

Cuando tenía 8 años, acostumbraba subir árboles so that I could acercarme al cielo Pensé que estirar mis arms hacia arriba resultaría en poder volar Cuando tenía 17 años, acostumbraba acostarme en el driveway de mi casa en plena noche para escuchar mi música de voices extranjeras en paz Miraba hacia las estrellas y me imaginaba un mundo de posibilidades. Quizás, esto fue lo que hacía mi mamá en her niñez Cuando escuchaba noticias de sus hermanos en los Estados Unidos Perhaps, pensó en todas las possibilities que tendría en un país con estrellas not only en el cielo pero también en la calle.

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Intrinsic Border

Luz Aguirre

Within me dwells the chaos of the border, misunderstood by my brethren, misunderstood by my brothers of assimilation. As time is spent in exile, I pursue my origins as others strip me of nonexistent levels of Mexicanness. I am and will always be a kind of misplaced soul. I don’t pray to the virgin, la Guadalupe has a different meaning to me. She has the makings of an inconvenient Tonantzin, an inopportune Coatlicue. I am the border. One side, both sides and none, belonging everywhere and nowhere. I see the innocent, the disturbed, the suffering and the ones who seek to gain. The anesthetized pain is banished from my being. It is allotted to the ones who have a better fit. However, the ones who fit harmonize even less than me. And Tlaloc falls, he has no way of purifying me, I’m impurifiable. Bastardized by society, bastardized by myself. Under the pouring rain, I baptized myself Lepidoptera, of soaked wings and complicated flight. And the immigration debate so cold and detached. We are not beasts of burden as the rhetoric suggests. Beasts do not dream, and we have come this far because we allowed ourselves to dream. And the border and the border and the border‌

Joven en Rojo (left). Yolizbeth Lozano.

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can you hear us drowning? Felicita Devlin

ssshshhhhhhhh ssshshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ssssshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh tourism seeps ssshshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhh ssssshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh into the veins of the mangrove trees ssshshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhh ssssshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh our homeland sinks deep ssshshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhh ssssshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh The roots erode ssshshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhh ssssshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ssshshhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhh

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Beyond the Binary (right). Felicita Devlin.



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Tengo Hambre

Natalie Olaya

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yo y me

Nancy Jean Guerrero

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Call

Livia Gimenes

A chamada termina, o silêncio me para no ar Deixou o segundo apagar as últimas palavras Deixo ele me abraçar e deixo ele perpetuar na minha mente e deixo ele ecoar o jeito macio de como tu soas o jeito imperfeitamente delicado o jeito implacável, tímido, sensível e amarrado me abala, me transborda e me derrota me tenta e desola tentaria em todas as minhas palavras e consciências achar algo para explicar mas tudo que vem a minha mente e tenta me vindicar e me esconder que nos finais de todas as histórias eu estou aqui e você está lá não importa quantas vezes o telefone pode tentar ligar a conexão vai cair, vai se apagar, vai se despedaçar se não vamos ser nós mesmas que a vamos deletar mesmo que no final só queremos brincar com distâncias e tempo achando que vamos esticar palavras e fronteiras quando a única coisa que fazemos é arrumá-las para quebrar

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Huerto Nico Page

El invernadero es un contrabajo Su constancia — no es de aquí, sus plantas sin estación donde llega un metro de brazos

lleno urgentes.

Adentro, el huerto verde siempre se congeló veranos atrás lo enterramos, sus ventanales bajo tierra retumba el contrabajo es un ataúd el invernadero, es un ataúd — su verde tan encerrado y delicado — el descansito allí que engaña, cementerio, engañas. Pareces lugar para

Hierbas en el jardín detrás de la cocina, después

está lo demás.

Por aquí no viaja el sonido, solo por la madera y el deseo — anuncio lo mejor será sublimarnos, pasar al aire antes de que escampe, trenzar el pasto porque la tierra es muy niña y no puede sola aún.

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The Surrender of a Cornrow Sistah Safiya Miller

"One...two...three...four...", she sat still as several white classmates gathered around her head counting her cornrows one by one. Her scalp screamed with the careless touch of each of their fingers. She calmly and silently continued working on her artwork despite the pain throbbing through her tender, freshly-styled head. Her mother had just finished braiding her hair the night before, and that two hour process of strain, stress, and patience is one she always dreaded. The constant ripping of the comb through her kinky 4c textured hair made seconds feel like minutes, and minutes as hours. She winced every time her mother's fingers crawled to the front of her scalp, restarting a new three-strand braid connected to the roots of her head. Her mother's fingers danced, methodically repeating the steps: under, over, through, under, over, through. In and out they weaved through the thickness of her mane, never skipping a beat or misplacing a hair. Each braid stood tall, slightly different than the others, but no less intricate. With each cornrow her mother completed, the tight pressure in her head and scalp made it increasingly difficult to wiggle her face muscles or even blink. "How much longer? My butt hurts." she asked, with her arms draped over her mother's knees. "Hush child, you're almost done." her mother calmly responded. One braid at a time, her mother continued working magic with only three strands of hair. Like the artwork circling the art room, her cornrows are art lining her head, and the artistry and skill encompassed in the entwining of hair should be obvious even to the naked eye. "Sixteen...seventeen...eighteen...nineteen!", the children exclaimed as they reached the last cornrow. Many emotions flooded through her as a classmate stated in jest, "It's perfect! She has nineteen braids and there are nineteen of us. Everyone could rip out their own braid and use it as a paint brush!" She joined in with the laughter with the other kids, but inside she loathed the thought of uprooting all her hair. She struggled to find humor in an image of her bald head while her white classmates used her hair, her personal form of art, as their tool. She imagined everyone using her hair, a feature they could not possess, and leaving her bald, barren, with nothing. Unlike the pictures and clay artworks being honored on the walls of the art classroom, the class found humor in destroying and stripping her of the artistry that decorated her head. In that moment she hated her hair, as it's distinctiveness forces its possessor to stand out without permission; all of the attention was focused on her, Harmony laughed with her peers, hiding her insecurities and self-doubt. 17


Noturno

Guilherme Trielle

um homem desce a rua (ninguém o vê) desce a rua sem pressa (ninguém o vê) todos dormem (menos ele) tudo dorme (menos ele) a cidade a esta hora (suspensa) descansa os braços o homem atravessa a noite mudo e simples atravessa a noite e amanhece

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Hijo de la Luna

Elena Aguirre

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Cronica de una Mujer Boricua en el Verano del 2019 Marysol Fernandez

Desde afuera no se sentía. O sí se sentía, pero lo que se sentía era la ausencia. Una ausencia persistente que penetraba mi espacio y me ahogaba con las lágrimas de un pueblo entero. Sus voces, las voces de mis vecinos, de mis compañeros, de mis hermanos y hermanas, me llamaban y yo, atascada en un pueblo que no era mío, mirando desde afuera. Se sentía la ausencia pero no se sentía todo lo demás. O sí sentía, pero no así. Pasaje comprado. Vuelo abordado. A mi isla he llegado. Puedo respirar. Con cada inhalación, emociones me ocupan, me abruman, me sostienen. El calor me recibe con un abrazo de familia y me siento a salvo. Los adoquines azules y desnivelados en mi Viejo San Juan son el suelo más seguro que caminan mis piernas. No me puedo imaginar estas mismas calles inundadas por el mar de gente que llegó y ocupó hace unos días. Que triste que no me lo puedo imaginar. Más lleno que en las calles de San Sebastián, me dicen. Que triste que no me lo puedo imaginar. Escuchamos a Bad Bunny hablar sobre la resistencia, me dicen. Que triste que no me lo puedo imaginar. Me encuentro con vecinos, amigos de mis padres, conocidos de toda la vida. Cada uno me pregunta si voy mañana y si me llevo a mi hermano. Pues claro, contesto. Muy bien, afirman, y siguen a preguntarle al próximo conocido o desconocido. Así fue que le llegó tanta gente ese 25 de julio. El pueblo se puso a hablar y a insistir. Eso es comunidad. Llegamos a las 8 de la mañana, tempranito. Tantas caras familiares. Los “usual suspects” como dicen mis padres, los que le llegan a las protestas de tres gatos, las protestas que conocíamos. Pero esta vez no éramos tres gatos. Tantas caras desconocidas. Nos mirábamos a los ojos, nos reconocíamos, nos sonreímos, y nos agradecíamos por estar ahí el uno por el otro. Por todos. Esperamos, sentados bajo el sol ardiente, para que empezara nuestro movimiento. Anticipación. Sudor. Emoción. El Boricua lo conocía todo muy bien. Finalmente, empezamos a caminar. Respiro un poco más profundo ahora, como si el cuerpo hubiera estado esperando este momento. La música, las voces, y la ciudad crearon un retumbo que se escuchaba a través de los miles de cuerpos. Pero sin embargo, yo siento un silencio interno. Es que hoy esa voz dentro de mí que siempre está pensando en lo próximo está silenciada. Ahora mismo estoy aquí y estoy aquí solamente. Estoy aquí, yo sola, con mi hermano, con mi pueblo, y con mi cartel: 20


¡¡¡Hoy nuestra indignación descoloniza mentes; mañana romperá cadenas!!! Ese día cuerpos resistentes, piernas cansadas y corazones llenos de amor por la patria ocuparon la avenida. Hombro a hombro caminabamos y sentíamos que todo el mundo afuera se paralizaba ya que nosotros nos habíamos robado toda la energía del planeta completo. Ese día creamos un tapón candente, revolucionario. Hay los que dicen que las protestas son peligrosas. A veces sí las son. Pero hoy, hombro a hombro, me siento segura y cuidada. Hoy la furia y el amor coexisten en el espacio revolucionario de la solidaridad. Hoy camina el revolucionario de toda la vida agarrado de la mano con el que protesta por primera vez. Caminan los azules, con los rojos, con los verdes. Caminan los padres, con los hijos, con los abuelos. Caminan los estudiantes, con los maestros, con los trabajadores, con los artistas, con los famosos. Felices pero no satisfechos. Estamos todos cansados. Llevamos años cansados. Ese día lo sentimos todo. Se sentía la corrupción de un gobierno que no nos representa. Se sentía la pobreza, impuesta y manipulada por los grandes intereses. Se sentían los $72 billones en deuda ilegal e impagable. Se sentía la violencia policiaca. Se sentía la violencia contra la mujer. Se sentía la falta de respeto que es la junta de control fiscal. Se sentía la austeridad. Se sentía el peso del colonialismo. Se sentía la devastación del huracán María. Se sentían los 4,645 que perdimos. Se sentía en el espíritu y en los huesos, también. Tantas razones por indignarnos. Ese día fue un grito de furia y desesperación, siglos in the making. Antes de ese 25 de julio, habían días que me convencía de que la habíamos perdido. Ya no. El nuestro es un movimiento debilitado, desordenado y difícil. Se brega con lo que hay y se hace lo mejor que se puede. Comemos y pa la calle otra vez. Hay gente cantando, pegándole a las congas. Hay gente leyendo poesía. Hay gente conversando. Hay medallas a cincuenta centavos. Claro, hay gente metidos en la Calle de la Resistencia, resistiendo. Todos compartimos. El compartir es revolucionario. El amor es radical. Es este compartir que me hace tanta falta ahora que estoy lejos. En Puerto Rico se comparte todo. Comunidad – palabra que se usa tanto sin saber lo que en realidad es. Yo sé lo que es la comunidad porque mis padres me criaron en una, y me enseñaron que la solidaridad es lo que nos sostiene. Ese 25 de julio me hizo recordarlo todo y me lo llevo conmigo hasta en las tardes frías y oscuras en el invierno del colonizador. 21


Broad Street | Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard Marta V. Martinez

Broad Street has historical significance for many people, ranging from the Narragansett Indians, who once called it “The Pequot Path,” to the Dominican Community, who currently call it “Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard.” Many Latino residents enunciate every syllable of the word “Broh-ah…” dropping the last letter in true Caribbean style. Broad Street begins in Warwick and takes you over a quaint bridge that overlooks a picturesque Pawtuxet Cove and past an idyllic White steeple church in Cranston. As you enter the City of Providence from the North you cross more than physical borders. Broad Street is where the first Dominican bodega was established by Tony and Josefina “Fefa” Rosario in the early 1960s. On this section of Broad Street, you are more apt to hear Spanish being spoken or see it written on posters lining local businesses and billboards looming high for all to see.

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A few feet from the site of Fefa’s Market and the Duarte monument is what locals refer to as ‘El Puente de La Broa.’ In reality, this puente is an overpass to I-95, and unlike the bridge in Pawtuxet Village just two miles north of here, with an idyllic body of water flowing underneath, there is a loud interstate highway running below. In addition to necessitating the demolition of dozens of buildings, the highway physically separated South Providence from the rest of the city, destroying its historic relationship with Downtown Providence and the waterfront. The barrier effect on I-95 accelerated the deterioration of the neighborhood — an invisible border wall built around this community caused the containment of developing blight in a limited area, where it would not be able to spread to other parts of the city. As a result, the urgency of dealing with the “problems” of South Providence soon became less pressing to the greater community. By the 1960s and 70s, when Latinos had settled on Broad Street, South Providence had become a forgotten corner of the city, shunned by residents from other areas. It was seen as an empty, deteriorating quarter where century-old buildings were disappearing daily. Virtually entire blocks were abandoned and demolished within one year, and throughout the next two decades.

Broad Street Overpass

Marta V. Martinez

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Poesía no soy yo Genesis Barrera

La naturaleza como extensión del cuerpo imágenes del espíritu, no por la cabeza, sino por los ojos. Oda a la entropía mujer con vidrio roto, socorro, hambre atrasada. Organizaré las redes de mis venas desplumada, mi sueño no me sostiene. Nombraré al infinito estaré a la deriva, porque fue sensible. Todo se come con hambre como una taza de fertilidad, nadie se conoce. El ser es tan precioso niños en máscaras, mujer ángel. Un hambre que no se sacia nunca vuelve a existir. Hay que parpadear no solo ver la luz es un destello momentáneo hembra devorada quedar ciega el mejor regalo caer desde del cielo es encontrarse el uno al otro donde derrotó ser, pensamiento, y cadáver.

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hermano y sister Nancy Jean Guerrero

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Mexica Dancer Luz Aguirre

I move from one place to another full of corrupt energies. The air burns my lungs. What good is my Mexicanidad carried on the left of my breast, the warmest, safest place? I close my eyes and perceive only muscles. At first the movements seem to have no direction, I concentrate on wise Huehuetl. The movements become pleasant. All the troubles, gone. The air becomes clean, the beasts hide, it is miraculous to breathe again! Only this time and this space exist. Yet, this space is peculiar, and to get to it I need to go through all the rites. I want to be space rather than matter!

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Mestizaje Luz Aguirre

I come from the prelude; awakened by my thrashing heart I come from the faint threshold of consciousness I was ingenuity, then crushed by injustice My sadness comes from indifference And from the despair that grows in the bones of explaining to others to look at me as an individual, judge me for my sins, they are many, and not place upon me the sins of others. I am Mestiza I am what we haven’t been I am Everything I am Nothing I am politically and culturally incorrect I’ve changed with each revolution and look at the future with new cultural pains The longing for something better is universal and ever present My armor is my rebozo.

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COMPOSIÇÃO Guilherme Trielle

I a luz improvisa no assoalho da manhã teatro de sombras ao avesso teatro em que se despe a estirpe camaleoa das cores

II em plano fechado cadeiras tomam banho de sol

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III cadeira azul e fita rosa (canção sem palavras) enviam sinais aos peixes

IV a cadeira verde (costas no escuro, assento na luz) elabora os enredos

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¡Te fuiste por el agujero! Sergio Amaral

No fue la fuente sino el Caudal lo que irrumpió En ese llanto. Entre ellos desde lejos se entendieron Pero no fue hasta que desde Lejos se fueron que decidieron dejarse ir, más Cerca aún, más adentro. No cambiaron de rumbo Porque la maleza se los Decía: manténganse en camino Que encaminado ya está el Destino del desencaminado. Y así por el estilo fueron Olvidando el hilo que se les Derramaba por su recorrido. Hasta que un día, ¡fuap! Desaparecieron, y el hilo Deshilado, ensangrentado con su Desaparecer, sirvió como Único testimonio de la compañía Que el Uno le hizo al Otro.

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Antigua

Benjamin Bergman

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Mundos Aparte:

Xicana Reflections on Higher Education & Family Ties Nicole B. Contreras Academia has a way of desensitizing me. Taking advantage of me, as if home is where I do not want to be. A day I was dreading, though prepared to come by. A death – but I can't get home fast enough to say goodbye.

Guilty because I don't get paid enough to make a contribution Guilty that they now have a financial burden Guilty because spiritually, physically, and emotionally; I've become vacant. Feeling like I'm selfishly pursuing my dreams,

Crushing me. Is this really where I want to be? Consuming me. With guilt. Guilty because my family is left with immense emotional burden. 32

while they're sacrificing theirs. Being worlds apart makes it easy to forget about the many issues – it impairs. Though they've given me their blessings,


this still feels unfair. I would give anything to them, even if I had to sacrifice the air

Trabajo duro para incorporarlos en todo lo que hago. Lo juro.

in my lungs

Enviando mi amor

so they can internalize my love.

desde 2000 millas de distancia.

Mi familia

Siempre serán de la máxima importancia…

protects my soul, my heart, my mental wellbeing, me – as a whole. Nos enseñan a honrar a nuestras familias, y lo hago, pero se ve diferente.

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POEM(A)S Alba Lara Granero

Nana Tres besos, tres dientes de león, inyectan en mis cervicales cada noche el sueño.

Lullaby Three kisses, three dandelions, inject into my cervicals every night the sleep.

Nana Três beijos, três dentes de leão, injetam nas minhas cervicais cada noite o sonho.

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Lo sé Todo acto de fe me pone bajo el riesgo de la blasfemia.

I know Every act of faith puts me at risk of blasphemy.

Eu sei Cada ato de fé me põe em risco da blasfêmia.

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Type set digitally using InDesign by the SOMOS Team at Brown University. Titles are set in Adobe Caslan Regular Pro 15 and body text in Bell MT Regular 10. November 2019.



SOMOS


Articles inside

Te fuiste por el agujero

1min
page 32

Mestizaje

1min
page 29

Mexica Dancer

1min
page 28

Poesía no soy yo

1min
page 26

Broad Street | Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard

1min
page 24

The Surrender of a Cornrow Sistah

2min
page 19

Canção de deslocar

1min
page 8

Call

1min
page 17

Intrinsic Border

1min
page 11

El sky es el mismo everywhere que vas

1min
page 9

Cronica de una Mujer Boricua en el Verano del 2019

4min
pages 22-23

Broad Street Overpass

1min
page 25
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