Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 3



Don’t

Ramon Jimenez


If I do tell you about me.
My name, ethnicity and hometown,
don’t change your voice around me
and pretend to speak my lingo
or what you assume is my lingo.
Don’t use words like,
“Órálé,”
“foo,”
“homies,”
“barrio,”
or “vato.”

Don’t ask me for the good stuff,
while talking about your connect back in New York.
I don’t slang and I don’t bang and I never did,
nor do any of my friends.
They’re too busy working on careers,
completing graduate degrees
taking care of their families.
Too occupied to fit into narrow,
one sided depictions,
generated from movies and news reels.

Don’t say you’re on my side
or that you’re not prejudice,
when you were too scared to visit my hood.
Puzzled as to why people have bars on their windows,
or Pittbulls and Rotts in their front yards,
knowing good and well that cops don’t provide protection.

On social media you are so woke,
but at the gas station on Imperial and Central,
you were so terrified.
Clinching to your pockets.



Ramon Jimenez: "I am a writer and educator who resides in Seattle, Washington. I teach language arts and I run a summer youth poetry program. I write poetry that focuses on immigration, culture and travel. I am interested in exploring locations and how they connect to memories. My poems are published in Rigorous Magazine and the Anti-Languorous Project."




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