Broken English

They say/your language is broken
pero broken is/more than a sentence
misplaced subject and verb
more than a pause before
your first language takes hold
more than sentences sprouting
mother tongue leaves
sprinkled on meals for a flavor of home
you can’t quite replicate
with the ingredients on hand
pues, tamam, evet

They say/your language is broken
pero broken is / La Frontera
a sea that carried you
while it buried others
broken is the unraveling seams
of “American dreams”

Larena Ortiz is a poet, freelance photographer and former educator currently living in Los Angeles. She earned her B.A in International Studies at the University of San Francisco and M.A in Migration Studies in Osnabrück, Germany.

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2 Responses to Broken English

  1. L.K. Latham says:

    I like to listen to “broken” English knowing that one day, that will be the “correct” English.

  2. thepensmight says:

    So Only
    Whenever we interpret, translate, transcribe
    The work of other brilliant women and men
    Do we add the most to this by staying silent
    Diminishing our voice so only theirs is heard

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