Gloria bats her almond-shaped eyes
Channeling Kim Carnes’ song
That features Bette Davis, but her hip
Unmistakably undulates and shakes
On the downbeat, like the flag
She wishes to hide. It’s her stamp.
And Gloria’s feet stamp
Like Spanish dancers, while she eyes
Carnes’s stiffened posture. She’ll flag
Her arms out of rhythm to a song
Thinking that’s how an Americana shakes,
Rattles and rolls. Mistaking square for hip.
Cheerleading Americanas chant hip-
Hip-Hooray and wave batons to stamp
And mark their roots. They drink milk shakes
And gaze at their jocks with dewy eyes,
Or so Gloria sees in movies. Her inner song,
Though, raises a different flag.
Gloria pledges allegiance to the flag
And strives to control the sway of her hip
And strives to control the sing-song
In her speech that’s as much a part of her as the stamp
Of coconuts, mangoes, and coquis with eyes
The color of coffee beans when the tree shakes.
We are a slice of American pie. Heaven shakes
To the tune of the Yankee Doodle flag
That Norma Jean drapes in her disguise.
That electrifies Hendrix and swivels Elvis’s hip
That grooves to Tito Puente’s bang and stamp
While Celia belts our song.
Release your wavy tresses and embrace our song
Let it fill your spirit, releasing in shakes
For we are an African, Indigenous and European stamp
Embodied in curves and waves under one flag.
We cannot deprive or deny the tumbao of our hip
When we carry coffee beans the color of our eyes.
Let’s not revise our inner song.
It’s hip, Gloria. Therefore with maraca shakes
Embrace the flag; our Boricua stamp.