Izel Nava (No pronoun preference)
Editorial Team Member

I am a product of years of suffering. A product of men and women who were cut from steel. Men and women made grotesque from their broken dreams. They are all cracked hands worn from labor and hushed whispers directed toward their faith.

I see the deep wrinkles on my abuelita’s face, the ones paved by her tears. I see the little rooms in a busy house full of noise and old women married to prayer. I see naked babies running from their parents who clutch embroidered towels. I see generations plagued by restrictive reality.

But as a footnote of my family’s history, as a chicana laying on the cold stones of my abuelita’s casita with my hand sticky from the raspada kissing my wrist, I see my privilege as well as my inherited anger.

I am a misplaced seed on Mexican soil, sinking into the ground. Because for me to be in Mexico is to become one with the country. I ignore the irony of my family that planted me amidst the American Dream, because planting myself on a foreign floor will not change my nationality, and only aid my raw legs.

And yet the distance I have with my identity is shattered by the way I drink the earth despite my duality. Because when my abuela’s flowers dance under the sun, she moves with them, and her steel arms stutter, but she’s in the clouds under heaven with me. We are two parts of the burst of grief that is our people’s history.

I am the scream of assimilation, and she is the purest expression of strength. Porque cuando nuestros ojos se encuentran es claro que en nuestra casita somos escritoras del desarrollo común. Because when our eyes meet, it’s clear that in our little house, we are the authors of our collective evolution.

I am a mirror. A diluted image of my ancestors that holds the same heart, but is distant in setting. An image of revolution against not only eurocentric conformity but of the culture that bastardizes me. I am all hope and perseverance.