Madari Pendas



Madari Pendas is a Cuban-American writer and poet living in Miami. Her works focus on the surreal and absurd aspects that accompany living in an exile community, and the inherited identity crisis of being a first-generation immigrant. She recently received three literary awards from Florida International University, in the categories of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

When You’re Latina but Don’t Look Latina


When you’re a Latina,

but don’t look Latina,

you spend summer mornings,

broiling in the sun,

coloring your pallid face.


You make sure to roll your ‘R’s,

like a purring lion.

You wear rolos,

& copper springs bounce around,

like unformed ideas.


You listen to Celia Cruz,

the mother of your motherland,

hearing the syncopated congas

and scratching quijada—

azúcar, azúcar you imitate.


You give photos of Castro the finger,

and debate whether he’s still alive.


You drink a colada every morning,

licking the espumita off the sides,

taking small sips,

letting the black lava sit on your lips:


tasting authenticity.


But when you sleep,

Padre Nuestro recited

you dream,


you dream in English.


© The Acentos Review 2015