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Luis Lopez-Maldonado

Photo by  Jerónimo Bernot  on  Unsplash

I  am  here  cuz my  ancestors  refused to give up  to give in  to give the  conquistadores
a free blowjob  &  build a new empire with smiles on brown faces,  I am here cuz in ’85 

mí madre didn’t put up a fight when my father came home drunk & forced himself inside
forced  wife  to  drive  without a  license  forced  her to  take  care of  him after  his  freak 

construction  accident,  I am here  cuz  I am  too  Mexican  for  Americans  too  American
for  Mexicans & too  feminine for masculine, I am here cuz even as bodies keep dropping 

jails  keep  maxing &  whites  keep  robbing, these  large  brown  hands  with  nail  polish
will rise  &  fist up for freedom for revenge for tradition & for that  little queer brown boi  


that has yet to be born.   

LUIS LOPEZ-MALDONADO is a Xicanx poeta, playwright, dancer, choreographer, and educator, born and raised in Southern California. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Riverside in Creative Writing and Dance. His poetry has been seen in The American Poetry Review, Foglifter, The Packinghouse Review, Public Pool, and Spillway, among many others. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a poetry editorial assistant for the Notre Dame Review, founder of the men's writing workshop in the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center and the Recipient of the Sparks Summer Fellowship 2016. He is currently a co-founder and editor at The Brillantina Project.