— Joe Navarro

Are you ambidextrous enough
To code switch?
Can you make the jump
Onto the etymological plane?
I am, I can
En dos idiomas

I can climb out
Of one world
And brincar adentro
Another mundo

I can bailar
El mambo, salsa, meringue,
Cumbia o Tex-mex
Or,if I choose
I can get down,
Get funky and get loose

On a clear day
Yo puedo disfrutar
En el parque
On a rainy day
Yo puedo bailar
Con las gotas

I am an hombre,
Hermano, esposo
Y padre
Sometimes I’m mister
Other times I’m señor
I’m a teacher one minute
And a maestro the next

I can volar in my dreams
I can pensar in my thoughts
I’ve been known to
Soñar in my sleep
I can have a sentiment
En español that
I’ll never have in English
Y con cariño

I can arrogantly choose
To hablar en dos idiomas
Y pensar en dos idiomas
I can talk with you,
At you or about you
En inglés o español

No law can change that
No level of ignorance
Can change that
No frantic, paranoiac,
Xenophobic, intolerant
Flood of stupidity
Can change that
Soy bilingüe, y a veces
Soy trilingüe

Hablo el idioma
De mi familia
And of this society
I speak English, español
And sometimes Spanglish

Back-back, forth-forth
Para atrás, para adelante
¿Me entiendes? Mendes
I can throw down some poetry
O tirar poesía si yo quisiera

I’m just a literary vato loco
Writing across two worlds
I don’t speak English only
Because I can’t
I speak dos idiomas
Because I can

One thought on “Ambidextrous

  1. I love the sound of each word as you read your poem. It was beautiful in English and beautiful in Spanish. Thank you for a beautiful poem.

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