Written and read by my friend Madeline Cruz
You throw a glance at me
Quickly interrogating and associating
You categorize who YOU think I am.
Brown, Muslim, Woman. And probably a lot of other things in between.
Pero cuando comienzo a hablar
And my accent isn’t harsh enough
All of a sudden the picture is cracked.
Y voz de donde sos?
I’m glad you asked.
I come from a people who were colonized.
Salvages necesitados y requeriendo de salvar.
In my surname I carry the reminder.
And how or why you ask does all of this matter?
Por que sus ojos quedan fijos en mi
Tratando de desenvolver
Unwrap me and see what is beneath.
I do NOT apologize for what it is you see.
The violent acts of the colonizer
Did not only come to save in the name of Christianity
But erased all histories of what Spain used to be.
So, I am a physical reminder
That I will not follow
Simply to not be bothered.
I am done apologizing for my brown skin.
And I am done glorifying the colonizing hand.
Do not try to tell me my religion and where I am from –clash.
Could it be because before a man named Columbus could land
Moorish Spain had to collapse?
If you don’t know your history
I’d advise you look back instead of living up to a standard
In which you are only considered a bystander.
Don’t be taken aback by my words and manner
When you come from a people who
Are most usually silenced
Brown, Muslim, Woman
When we speak out this is the only way we know how to.
So, yes CRUZ—meaning Cross in Spanish
Clearly reminds me of where and with whom my ancestry lies
And Yes, the way I wrap my hair reminds me amongst many other things
That I am not who you want me to be.
I am not who you expect me to be
And I have unlocked
So, in your glance
Do you see?
A Brown, Muslim Woman on her way to liberty?
Steadily peeling off the skins
Who would have ever thought?
That this is what Islam could’ve done.