Diaspora – A Spiral

M.R. "Chibbi" Orduña

I visited the temples of Tenochtitlan
when I was 8 & all I got
was this lousy Imposter Syndrome
& I have never felt more like a tourist
as when taxied in the streets of my birthplace
unable to have a conversation
without tripping into the borrowed currency
of a colonizer’s language harboring
a bloated throat behind this port of entry
                  a hundred skies away
                  from mis abuelos
& I am suffocated
by the realization
there is so much of me
foreign & undiscovered
how Cortés of me
to gleam the riches of a culture
& call them mine without a single callous
& I am little brown boy wishing he were browner
little brown boy güero despite the black curly hair
                                                      & am I loved
in a country that hates where I’m from
                                                      & am I hated
in a country my parents abandoned
am I the X in LatinX—the variable
always trying to be solved
I want nothing more
than to be a Carretero in Oaxaca
instead of an Orduña in Texas
rejecting the American
manipulation of my Mexican
two first names too cumbersome
for people to hold them holy–I am
becoming what is most convenient
for the people & leaving behind la gente
& when we meet again how will I look
                                   my ancestors en el alma
                                   & not feel like I’m breaking
into their afterlife
& in their afterlife
                                   I feel like I’m breaking
el alma de mis ancestros
& how will I look when I meet
la gente & leave behind the people
that were most convenient becoming
who I am—too holy to hold for people
too cumbersome to be named
my Mexican manipulated by
American rejection
of Orduña–Spain conquering Texas
of a carretero’s labor in Oaxaca
& I want nothing more
than to be solved instead of
a variable–the X in Latinx
abandoned by a country
                                    my parents loved
hated in a country that loves
                                    where I’m from
but not me—little brown boy curled in the privilege of being güero
& I am little brown boy wishing brown didn’t feel broken
& calloused from every single call to make mine
a culture & all the riches it gleams
& can I Cortés what I’ve learned & become
less foreign & discover
there is so much
of me realized &
                                   & mis abuelos
                                   a hundred skies away
were the port of entry this bloated throat
harbored their language before the colonizers
tripped into the borrowed currency
of a conversation
about birthplace–how we are taxied
like tourists into places where we have never felt
like anything less than a lousy imposter
when I was 8
I visited the temples of Tenochtitlan
& in the temples of Tenochtitlan I am
a tourist in the afterlife breaking
any lousy imposter I was
el alma de mis ancestros
in the streets of my birthplace, taxied
into a conversation with la gente
leaving behind the people that are tripping
into the borrowed currency of what is most convenient
I am holy on hold, harboring a colonizer’s language
too cumbersome for people with two first names
& a bloated throat manipulating a port of entry
across a hundred skies into my Mexican American
learning of mis abuelos—Texas—Orduña—Oaxaca—
Carretero—all suffocated by the realization
that there is so much of me I want
to try to solve
the foreign & undiscovered
how variable of me
to Cortés the riches of a culture
call them callouses mine
& I am little brown boy & güero
the ex in ex-Latine, abandoning his parent
country, hating his black curly hair
& where I am from           am I loved
& where am I                      from
in              a country where I am
from a country in love
                                                      am I
loved where I am
                                     can I love
                                                                  a country I hate
                                                      am I
                   loved where I am from
can I hate where I am
                                                                                      & love
                                     a country that hates
                                                        I am loved
                  where I am
where I am
                                                         a country
                  in love
                                                                            I love
                                    where I am
& am I loved                                where I am from
                   am I loved
                                                                            in a hated country
                                                                             I am
                                    can I
                                                    am I
M.R. “CHIBBI” ORDUÑA is a Mexican-born, Texas-raised queer poet and spoken word artist, Editor in Chief of The Mixtape Literary Magazine, and director and co-host of the Words and Shit video podcast. He has self-published 2 books, was a finalist for the 2021 Wax Nine Chapbook Competition, and is the co-editor of the anthology Contra: Texas Poets Speak Out (Flowersong Press, 2020). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Texas Review, Waxwing, Los Angeles Poet Society, Allium, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Acentos Review, The Latino Book Review Magazine, Buzzfeed, we are mitú, Button Poetry, Write About Now, and elsewhere. He travels the country performing his work in hopes that audiences feel empowered to embrace their identity, each other, and share their stories. You can find him on IG @gemineyes and on Twitter @gemineyespoetry.