I am the hope

I am the hope of the uneducated and illiterate

I was given birth in a world chaotic and self-destructive

I am the result of a vicious fight against oppression

I am like the decades

That lead

To centuries

Where my people fought for their independence

I am torn between three cultures

I am put under expectations I never seem to meet

Unrealistic expectations

Which to me are limitations

And inhumane

I am disconnected

I am the voice hanging on

Getting no response from the other line

None but the dial tone

I live

Yet never do I truly please

I am the future dropout

Born into a life without many opportunities

Where violence and the followers of

False promises thrive

Yet I am told I can achieve greatness

I am told that I can prosper

Yet I feel held back

By the negative environment that surrounds me

I face the fault of my people

I am a member of the Aztecs

I face the unforgiving Aztec priest

Who is unkind

Exiling me from the world

For my untraditional thoughts

I am overwhelmed by my obligations

Trying to stay true to myself

But trying to form a connection

Some stable ground to stand on

I am discredited

Yet to some I am the only one left to believe

I walk, I run

Yet I am always confined to one space

“You can only fir where you belong,” they say

But who am I?

Where do I fit?

I am a mix of American




My heritage

Which holds in its history


The Aztec civilization of central Mexico

Who governed their people with an iron fist

They are in my past

But their religion and the bloodshed

Their traditions and their sacrifices

Are not mine

I am not

The Aztecs

I am not

Their God

I do not

Share their complexion

I do not

Have their sun-kissed

Dark brown skin

Their short frame

Or straight black hair

I am not like them

But I am their sacrifice

I am the body carried up

The temples of Tenochtitlan

Lavish and extraordinary

In comparison to their peasant villages

Built by the sweat of many

But enjoyed by few

I am the scared and barefoot

The one who cried in protest

Of the slicing

And discarding

Of my loved ones

The one who questioned their beliefs

Who felt a pang of guilt as I watched lives

Sacrificed to a false god

Who couldn’t take

The slaughter of my people

Sacrificed one by one

For the “greater good”

The one who reacted to  the bloody sacrifices

The one who couldn’t stand and watch

I am the one who took a stand

And was lead to my death for

Displeasing the Gods

I am the one

Set on a rock

Which to me is like a blade to my back

Reminding me the rest of the ceremony

Will be far from comfortable

I am the one

Gazing up at the priest

The glare of the sun in his face

I am paralyzed by fear

And inside his eyes





But all I see

Are dark unmerciful eyes

All I see

Are black pools of venom

Pools of disappointment

Which still hold hopes of redemption

His eyes meet mine

It is in that moment

That I realize

What my people have become



Firm believers

To a murderous violent religion

As he drives a knife into me

A sharp stab that draws blood

That drives a scream from my mouth

As I look down at the village

I think of my pain

And of my people

Looking on with grim expressions

Unaffected by my hurting

Indifferent to my suffering

For them I am just another sacrifice

One who dies for their God

One who they will soon forget

For that reason

They don’t make a move to save my life

For I am nothing but disposable

Just another of their sin-tainted gifts

And as they watch

I bleed


I bleed


I bleed


I bleed


I bleed


I bleed




He drives the knife deeper into me

Deeper into my being

Making his incision harsh but precise

And as the life bleeds out of me

The priest reaches into my insides

Taking my heart in his hands

Bloodied hands

Who’ve taken countless lives

For the Gods

He holds my beating heart towards the heavens

With his filthy hands,

He holds my tona







But years of witnessing senseless deaths have left me numb

And all I can think about is

My heart is

The blood shed by the self-mutilation of the spectators

The tears shed by the children on their way to suffer the same fate

The conscience lost by the priest who insists on tradition and conducts these bloody ordeals

The lives lost in war, who were thought to bring food and drink to the village

For Tlaloc

For Huitzilopochtli

For Tezcatilipoca

For my people

I am the human sacrificed

Performed at the New Fire Ceremony

At midnight

Every 52 years

To keep my people safe

To stop the apocalypse

I am the bodies cremated

The animals

The treasures

The quails

The grains

Who were given up

For the Gods


In El Salvador,

I sacrificed my body

In El Salvador,

I was pushed into hard labor

My body overwhelmed by

The heat

And the poverty

Overwhelmed by

The lack of medication and

Leading this destructive lifestyle

And the worst part was that

My sweat wasn’t for myself

But for the well-being of the Spaniards and the Americans

Our new-found rulers

Who lived in luxury

While our people lost their youth

While our people lost their lives

For hard work

They were never compensated.

I worked in the fields of cacao for their chocolate

I worked in the fields of coffee beans for their drinks

I tended to the fields of cotton for their clothes

I tended to the indigo plants for their blue dye

I tended to the sugar canes for their food

I tended to the fields,

But none of it was mine.

We were conquered,

Hit with a whirlwind of conquistadores

Ambitious for their share of gold and silver

Unwilling to give us rights

But willing themselves to prosper

I am like General Atlacatl

Who lay foot on our volcanic soil

Who exploited our people

Renaming our land after Jesus Christ

Ignoring the beliefs of the natives

I am like Cortes

Who pushed his Spaniard rule down the threats

Of indigenous Mexicans

Who defeated the Aztecs with his weapons

I am the women

Silent but observant

Watching as men like



And Matamoros

Fight for the independence of our

I am the woman

I have a mind but I cannot speak it

I have my words but they cannot hear them

“It is not your place to stand,” they say

So I watch my independence

I watch my revolution

I watch Villa and Zapata

Historic events leading to our liberation

Unfold before me

And it kills me to sit back and watch

It kills me to swallow back my words

Like a poison drank

Destroying me inside out

But my countries, though they are free, are not safe

They run with hatred

They run with racism

They run with violence

My people flee to America

Thinking they are leaving those demons behind

But conditions are not better

Those demons came back

Consuming our beings more than ever

We still sweat

We still bleed

We still have no rights

It’s a repetition of the past

Just for a different country

My people risk a brush with death

All for the empty promises of a better life

Their hopes fueled by

Their hopelessness

And their poverty

Still here I am

All those centuries later

Faced with the same problems

My life hardly proven any better

Despite the numerous lives sacrificed for

A better future

I am still surrounded by the same pressures

But I refuse to revel in their victories

I refuse to follow their rules

I refuse to listen to their failed preaches

I refuse to be molded into their desires

I refuse to turn my anger into violence

I refuse to use violence to gain power

I refuse to rely on others

I refuse to leave the burden of change in the hands of the powers that be

I choose to take action

I choose to take a stand

I choose to believe in justice

I choose to believe in equality

I choose to stand for liberty

I choose to learn from my mistakes

I will not be oppressed

I will not hold back

I am not the past.


This entry was posted in Student Writing Gallery.

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