la elegida By Mia T. Hamernik

la elegida


as a child
i did not fit my name
marshmallow vowels
beneath tongue
rubble consonants
generous crevasses carved
into lip

as a child
i did not want
to fit my name
because it was 
raw meat and
barbed wire and radio static
places with history but no name
i have never                             met another                             with my name
bitter                possess
small               the mark
of someone who does not know
where she belongs
it has never meant a good thing
some things do not survive

i did not want
to love my name
because it showed facets
that i wished to 
grind to sand
it is a promise
that my ancestors
killed for greed
my ancestors
were killed for greed
they fled one war
only to end up in another
shoved into black falcons
rotting in ditches
in death flights
and secrets


a woman told me
i was wrong, que
mi nombre tiene otro
origen hebreo, que significa
la elegida
the chosen
i have realized my name
was not too big for me
that it was the mouths of others
whose tongues lacked the desire
and experience
to appreciate its flavor
to digest it


i have a secret name
M o y o c o y o t z i n
she who creates herself
my flesh is colonized
but i am mestiza to the bone.

By Mia T. Hamernik


Mia T. Hamernik is a California native pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis. She likes to remind people she’s Latina by bemoaning the severe limitation of Mexican restaurants in St. Louis and listening to Bad Bunny on full blast at every opportunity. She has not suffered a foosball defeat in six years.

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