My sestet poem ‘Authentic’

Written by Ashley Lopez

¿Una luca mas, si hermosura?
Beggars—carrying no money at all.
¡Que rica, mami! No eres burra.
Perverts—staring me down, having a ball.
¿Que si? ¿Me dejo entender, pata?
Confusion—everywhere, que bien abruptan!

I should be less rude; this is the native tongue.
I’m here to understand: to be a local.
Though when I was here last, I was so young
So I know I need to change; be more vocal.
I know I belong… I am from Peru!
I need more time here, so I can be true.

I wish to stay forever, but I can’t
Because I have unfinished business.
I cannot say goodbye, so let me rant!
I won’t leave on my own, I need a witness.
I hope to be authentic, to be so
Peruvian—to be able to glow.

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