Paula Ramirez

Slavery in Santurce

The integrity of mi familia has rested between chaos and solace for quite some time. We
have lived in four floor walk -ups. Where our feet suffered the constant licks of flames
that blazed their way through boogie down boulevards. We watch the fires as Tio
explains that slavery is not American or European but VERY Puerto Rican. “Paula” 70%
of us were brought to the Carribean so when they ask if you are black, you say yes. When
they try to say you aren’t Boricua, you laugh in their face and explain that salsa mofongo
and melanin are all vital parts of Ponce. They will try to pass their ignorance for fact and
you will carry Botanica blessed sage mixed with real nigga sentiments until they realize
themselves to be unworthy. You will smile with pride and by this time, have gotten a
chance to heal the 2nd and 3rd degree burns on the pads of your toes. toes that have spent
decades. Lifetimes. Running away from fires.

© The Acentos Review 2020