Words from Imposter Syndrome

that boy’s too trapped in his bedsheets / re-reading ancient texts / to answer a
text message / that boy’s a codex / that boy’s been old and coiled with dust /
since one sunrise / he ate so much acid / his pupils stayed dilated / that boy’s
eyes are black holes / don’t get so close / or he’ll lose you too / like the phone
chargers / he never returned / or the compliments / about his white accent /
that boy looks just like his father / absent / that boy’s not with the molotovs and
razor blades / like his poems might have you think / he’s had a brick engraved
with his name in gold at the precinct since fifth grade / for best pro pig essay /
that esé’s a snake in saint’s rags / he ain’t got fangs / just slippery gums / that
boy was raised around spanish and english but now speaks none / that boy’s
such a love maker he’s a virgin / that boy’s such a drinker you don’t hear him
breathe / that boy used to do keg stands so all his white friends would laugh /
boy / we laughed / that boy doesn’t make our pockets vibrate anymore / that
boy ain’t with that ‘from two worlds’ stuff we used to clap for / that boy won’t
write a thing for / from / about the so-called ‘white supremacist’ perspective at
all / that boy’s done with this poem / for life /

Julián Martinez (he/him) is a Chicano poet and journalist from Waukegan, IL. His work has been published in JukedMatchbox Magazine and La Cascada. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of Pueblo at 14 East, a bilingual student magazine at DePaul University. He is the son of Mexican immigrants.