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A Multitude of Poems by Jackey Mendez

Recuredo tú voz

Cada vez que tu canción

Está sonando.

(This is a haiku I wrote in Spanish).

Art piece/ light

I just want to be an art piece that you admire but cannot touch,

because if you touch it,

the value will diminish.

You won't admire it as much.

You are the light I need.

The light to help me survive,

The light I need in order to grow,

The light that I crave,

The light for survival.


Looking back at my elementary school years,

I have to say that I hated being Latina.


Because they would put me in special English classes because “I didn't speak it well”

My classmates would laugh when the teacher would call my name to go to these classes.

Being in this class, for the other students meant you were dumb.

Being in this class for me, meant I was different.

I loathed being different from the other children.

I loathed when the other children would laugh when I would walk out the classroom.

I knew that the reason for it was because of my ethnicity. Because I was Latina.

I did not want to be Latina,

I did not want to speak differently,

Or be different.

This is the thing about elementary school,

You are young, vulnerable, naive, and you want to be like everyone else.

Recuerdos de mi papá

Me recuerdo las historias que me contaba mi papá.

De su viaje a los Estados Unidos.

Como tenía un palito atascado en su ojo por tres días.

Como ya casi se iba perder

Como estaba tan enfermo, pero no podía descansar.

Como no comía por días.

Como lo amenazaban

I remember crying because I felt his pain

I remember thinking how resilient and strong él era.

My dad has never shown that he is weak.

Este recuerdo, I know has traumatized him.

I know that he went through a lot of pain

Even remembering.

Gracias papá por todo lo que has hecho por mí

Y por hablar de su viaje.


Por un tiempo,

Didn’t feel comfortable in my skin.

Quería rascar my skin off my body.

Quería quedarme inside forever in order not to get darker.

Quería a different skin tone.



Have you ever been disappointed in yourself because you had high hopes for someone.

You truly thought that maybe, just maybe this person was going to be the right one.

So you opened up your doors and four walls and feelings, and emotions to this person.

You shared your thoughts, your laughter, your ideas, YOURSELF, with this person.

You were vulnerable.

You were authentic.

You were Y O U.

Because same.

There are so many people that I showed myself, my life, my world with and for what?

So they can trample on it and walk away nonchalant.

I’m disappointed, not in them, but in me.

For thinking that these people would be right for me.

Stop it.

“I don’t get you,”

“I don’t understand you,”

“ You’re so different,”

“You’re so weird.”

These are a few of the comments I receive

From those that try to understand me but don’t achieve.

How can you get me,

How can you understand me,

If I myself, don’t get me and don’t understand me sometimes.

Yes I know I am different,

And yes I know I am weird.

Thanks for letting me know

What I already know.

What’s the point of trying to figure someone out?

How can you fully figure someone out?

People evolve.

People change.

People aren’t the same.

Just please,

Stop trying to figure me out

And stop trying to understand me.

Because I am different and weird.

And sometimes unfigureable and not understood.