I Thought I Had Post-Chicana Blues Because Chicana Wasn’t Enough

by: Lauren Espinoza


like the checkered chanclas I tripped over, too big
for me. Chicano nationalism didn’t have a place identity. I did, Borderlands, Tx.
    where my home has a U.S. area code, but you wouldn’t be able to tell it by looking at the last names in the phone book.
    where people speak pocho Spanglish.
    where every kitchen may not have a loaf of bread, but for sure has tortillas.
    where you can buy every virgen accouterment possible at the grocery store.
    where you go to the pulga to see the movies in theaters.
    where the minority is the majority; does that still make them a minority?
    where you don’t have to go to the doctor to get antibiotics.
    where at Macy’s, people ask if they can pay in pesos.


If the border is just what divides us
as people, then there is no border.
If there are no borders, there is no reader.


For Tejanas,
who will be the ones to speak
for those who are middle-class Mexican-Americans
who never knew the poverty of growing up in the streets
who never spoke Spanish in their home
who went to classrooms labeled Gifted & Talented
who never had to worry where their next meal was coming from
who never questioned if they were going to be able to go to college,
because for them it was never a choice – the only choice was what school.


A short description of Tejanas
—wear Selena on their t-shirts
—have spray paint stencils of the virgen on their dressers
—get Gloria Anzaldúa quotes as tattoos
—dress up as La Llorona for Halloween
—have cats named Sor Juana and Tonantzin


If there is no reader
how are we supposed
to define ourselves?