If I learned Spanish,
would it please you?
Would you take my hands, false
writers, call them manos and hold them close?
Would you feed me hierba and agua?
Camel of Los Reyes, deliverer of men dried,
parchment tongue deliberately fed on
grass of America, water of Spain.
What would you call me?
Child of Boriken? Speaker of Eyeri.
language, which I can never learn,
language that I feel within me.
Noel Quiñones is an AfroBoricua writer born and raised in the Bronx. A recent graduate of Swarthmore College majoring in English Literature, he was a recipient of their 2015 John Russell Hayes Poetry Prize. As well he was a member and assistant coach of the 2015 Philadelphia Pigeon National Poetry Slam team, placing among the top twenty teams in the country. As a teaching artist, slam coach, and youth mentor for both P.Y.P.M. and ArtWell in Philadelphia he has worked with artists of all ages. He has recently moved back to New York City where he is working on a chapbook entitled, “An EgoRikan’s Memory.” His work has appeared in The Acentos Review, FreezeRay, and Decades Review.