Dominican Girls

Written By: Anna Gabriela 

Sometimes, I wonder how much I would know
If I had White heritage

Dominican girls lose their curls at 4 and go back to natural at 19
They come from a long line of strong women and even stronger whiskey
Sauntering hips and lips that ask you to not ask about their family
They’re here to work

Dominican dads go in at 3 am to drive a truck and piss in a cup
They scrape the sides of the roads, praying for the night to come home
Dominican moms don’t take your shit and you better clean up your shit
Even when you’re not home

These viejas trajeron chisme del colmado
No porque no tienen otras cosas de qué hablar
But because they would rather forget than
relive the nights their husbands did not come home
Or when they did

Dominican girls grow up to be women when they’re too young to realize what’s happening
They don’t know how to say no so they stay nice and quiet

They go back to church and tell some perv priest to absolve them from their sins
They eat the Jesus cracker and swallow down that sweet, sweet, blood-wine
Waiting for redemption

Estas brujas with their pajones haven’t seen a pincho or a flat iron in years
They’re not here to burn their hair or scrape the sides of their chochas
Tienen vulvas y algunas no, but they’re all girls the same

They’re shipped to America with bright, White hopes and dreams
Only to sit on gum on their brand new jeans the first time they take the bus

They go to school, act White, and are placed in remedial English
Somehow being kinda fluent in two isn’t the same as knowing the language

When I was little I would tell my dad that my brain was split into two:
One in Spanish where I kept my dreams and one in English where they went to sleep
Algunas veces tengo sueños en el campo
Con mis primos jugando y jodiendo
Nadie habla de prisa o movimiento
Morir soñando

But today I woke up to a Trump president
A nightmare that started way before 2016
White supremacists have made themselves clear:
We’re not welcome here, this country is not made for us

So let’s hold each other close
Call your mom, dad, tía and prima
Tell them how much you love them
Call your fellow luchadoras
Tell them how much they inspire you
Pray for your siblings and those yet to join us
Who don’t have a voice, but will live with the fallout

Crawl out of your misery when you’re ready
And not sooner
Because in order to fight back, we need to rebuild
Reshape rediscover our own strength

My grandma once told me of grabbing a machete
And cutting down a whole field
Magical realism in the DR has truncated dictators before
Butterflies and blood and beauty are our ammunition
Take up arms in this revolution
By any means necessary, in this revolution
Through all doors possible, in this revolution
With love and compassion, in this revolution

Dominican girls wash the sweat off their back and go back to work
They know when to listen and they know when to scream
They have lost way too much to sit in silence again
They’re ready to fight, and ready to win.

“A chill goes through her, for she feels it in her bones, the future is now beginning. By the time it is over, it will be the past, and she doesn’t want to be the only one left to tell their story.”


Bio: Anna Gabriela is a queer, Dominican spoken word poet and organizer, currently based in Florida. Her main passions include reproductive and racial justice, and she has worked with organizations like Planned Parenthood and The Body Is Not An Apology. She is a a digital and grassroots organizer, with a focus on organizing youth and communities of color. You can find her on WordPress, Twitter and Instagram @trianglescheme. 

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