Tag Archives: Rolling Out Tortillas

“Rolling Out Tortillas” – Poetry by Sarah Frances Moran

Self Portrait Along the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States - Frida Kahlo, 1932
Self Portrait Along the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States – Frida Kahlo, 1932

From our Spring 2016 issueSarah Frances Moran‘s lyrical & thought-provoking poem “Rolling Out Tortillas” explores some of the tangled borders of culture & history.

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ROLL OUT THE DOUGH.
Roll out the crossing of rivers and
sun scorched skin.
Roll out fingers brittle from a cotton gin
and a mind, only educated as far as picking a plant
can go.
Roll out dozens of siblings and cousins so vast
you have trouble remembering their names.

Roll out shame.
Roll out the way the white tongue has trouble
rolling the  r
Roll out and leave that part of you there, flattened.
Roll out eating ice cream outside because
only whites were allowed inside.
Roll out being told you can only speak English
to my children
Roll out losing your native tongue to love

Roll out your half-breed children
Roll out their light skin and the privilege they’ll
have the opportunity not to appreciate.
Roll out the Almendarez so Davis can fully set in.

Roll out the American Flag,
Roll it far and wide and so far and so wide
That you forget where San Luis Potosí
even is.

Roll out the Chicana in you.
Roll it out so it makes it ok to use wetback liberally.
Roll it until it’s so thin you can only see the white
reflected in your face, until your dark hair and dark eyes, pale.

Teach me how to hold that rollingpin;
So I can remember this labor.
So I can remember how we keep our bellies warm.
So I can remember why my hair stays so curly and how
sometimes, I can see my ancestors through this storm.

Roll out that tortilla and toss it on the comal.
When it hits your tongue,
tell me how you’ve worked so hard to forget,
and tell me,
when it melts in your mouth…

Do you remember home?

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