We swap playlists and attitude while summarizing our complex heritage into one word differentiated by the gender marker at the end of it. When I think of the past men in my life who were all important to me, they were all – white – like my father and me, their faces turned red in the sun as they spun falsehoods as intricate and deep as the scissor marks across my stomach. I wonder if it is different because we share a noun; I wonder if it is different at all. I tell you I am trusting and can’t understand your sarcasm, you use it less in the following conversation. I wanted to marry a man who could make my children more Hispanic than me. I forget the other matches and let the likes pile up but wonder if it is different. How is it different? The men who raped me burned in the sun. The best man I know does the same. Is it because they are from the US, is it because they were not raised with Latina madres who beat sensibility into them, is it because they would not recognize Suavemente against La Copa de La Vida? Would you never rape me because you are Latino or because you are you? Is being afraid of white men a hypothesis that has been proven or a stereotype that has done the same? My face and shoulders burn in the sun the same way all of them did. I am half white. The children I bear will be part white. Will I fear the son that I raise?
‘Course you ghost me in the end so did you even prove Latinos are any different?
Kayla Pica Williams is in her third year of English with a Creative Writing Emphasis PhD at ISU. She has short works published in Stirring Lit, Utterance: a Journal, and Entropy as well as a novella coming out in Big Fiction Magazine.
A Song for Kayla