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Noel Quiñones

Noel Quiñones
Spit

White owned stoops will say
      my grandmother begged
for saliva from a thousand pores,
     nurtured a transcontinental
migration at 8 years old;
     they will call 134th St. an Irish
owned Harlem, the racial juke,
     Boogaloo before it proved
its accent was innovation;
     they will swear talk
of a would-be flood
     in the headlines: Third Wave
of Puerto Rican Immigration,
     say unnatural use of womb,
Spanish, a dull bath
     of accented milk always
in need of a new
     coat of white spit / shined
the block upon her face,
     a lengua turned to water,
built itself a dam for generations
     and never taught papito
Spanish, but always recalled
     the cascading mouths, drowning
her children in words they could not
     translate
into love.


Noel Quiñones is an AfroBoricua salsero. He is a 2016 CantoMundo Fellow, 2015 Watering Hole Fellow, and 2015 John Russell Hayes Poetry Prize winner. His performances have been featured on Button Poetry, Vibe, Flama, and Blavity. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Pilgrimage Press, Winter Tangerine Review, Moko Magazine, and The Acentos Review.

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