Without colonialism I’d be closer to the earth

It’s been 3 years since a black boy,
Once told me,
“Hispanics—” no. “Latinos were a mistake.
He said this with a wooing smile,
Sweeping the floor as it was closing time.
I just stood there, invalidated.
not fighting back- I never learned how.
my self-worth crumbled.
He looked at me and said,
Without White Conquistadors coming to
the Americas, you wouldn’t be here.
He looked away and finished sweeping the floor.
I just stood there, confused.
Was I supposed to owe thanks to Conquistadors?
For pillaging my home and stripping it of the riches
That belong to me, as son of the equator?
Was I supposed to praise the merciful colonists
for leaving me with no ancestry?

Its been 3 years and I still struggle with what he said,
But I think we, Latinos, are no longer a mistake,
But a correction.

About the Author

Julio Diaz is a junior English major also working on the UTeach and Creative Writing Certificates at the University of Texas at Austin. He is 20 years old and a member of the queer community as a Latinx person. He dreams in black and white and has an affinity for believing that magic exits.