Wendy Trevino, “Brazilian Is Not a Race”


& I’m not sure how important that is
When you’re from Ukraine. I don’t give a fuck
What Elizabeth Bishop said. Never
Did. You can like her I’m just saying I
Don’t care what she had to say about race.
I will not center some racist settler
Woman’s mistaken ideas about
The world in order to make love & hate
Less complicated. Why destroying what
Destroys you is more difficult than you
Expect every time: that complication.
Which is to say I’m not sorry: Clarice
Lispector was white, that passage sounded
Anti-black & that’s not “fucked up” to say.


When I said race is relational what
I meant is people are racialized in
Relation to other people who have
Power. It isn’t enough to not like
Mexicans. Where I’m from, many of us
Mexican-Americans resented
The Mexicans who came from South Texas
To shop for designer clothes. They were rude
& treated at least the working class &
Poor & undocumented Mexican-
Americans as bad as the “Anglos,”
Which is what we called the white people, who
May or may not have hated Mexicans
Who worked with a few of them anyway.


I took dance classes with two Mexican
Girls. They went to private school in Brownsville.
I remember thinking one of them was
Very pretty. I remember seeing
Them shopping in the mall once & my mom
Pointing out how they were shopping alone
With their parents’ credit card & she watched
With what seemed like awe as the pretty one
Paid for an expensive GUESS jean jacket
& complimented her taste. My cousins––
Some of them––were Mexican too. I thought
I was whatever they were. Those teenage
Girls shopping with their parents’ credit card
Were definitely from Mexico though.

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