Becca Hiraheta is a Salvadoran-American poet and blogger that is homesick in two languages for no place in particular, she writes about love, identity, and the near colonization of her body. She is currently the Community Organizing Fellow at The Poetry Lab and has been published in the first ever issue of Hue Journal and featured alongside World Stage Press and Not a Cult poets, and at LibroMobile.
In the United States,
I am a foreigner.
In El Salvador,
I am a foreigner.
I am purple hue spilling across the sky
with no land
and no language on tongue to call me back home.
Always holding a language in my mouth that has rejected me.
No matter the placement of my body,
I am always labeled stranger.
People tell me I don’t look like I belong here
I look at all these bright body paintings in the Getty
and although beautiful,
I am not the she in clear body of Venus.
the “H” that made my dad’s last name “American”
the “H” in front of my abuelo’s last name hanging like silence
and resentment that was left from an empty home;
the ghost of a man that never stayed to be a father.
The syllables beg to give room to that silent and angry woman.
I have been caught between all of this silent resentment
with a name that seeks to erase the vacancy of the man that left my dad.
My last name represents all of the things I want to run from.
I don’t want to be rendered by the absence of a man,
the ghost of him attaches to me
like a scar that is left from survival.
Men don’t stay.
My name weighs me down and hooks onto my female freedom.
I want to feel the home of a different man’s name attach to me
and help me enunciate the “H” in happiness and home
instead of remembering silent “H”s.
I demand the erasure of the man that had almost broken my abuela but didn’t.
Disengage from the name that traces all of the anger leftover from abandonment
and choose hope instead.