The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

Eloísa Peréz-Lozano: 1 Poem Published

Mutant

~For all bilinguals who hide their accents well.

 

I look like you

But not quite like you

Hiding in plain sight, another me

Waits for the right moment

 

English is a tennis ball

In a well-matched game

Lobbing back and forth between us

When my phone interrupts our play

 

Just a second, I say

While I answer my call

 

Mama’s voice rings out

And I suddenly morph

Your head turns back, thoughtful

As my inner form appears

 

A few notches louder than before

My melody soothes you

Your apprehension melts away

As you listen without understanding

 

I didn’t come to confuse

Only entrance

Linguistic dance

A bilingual romance

 

With you I am an English master

A domain I rule

Then, in a second, I’ve switched

That girl is gone

 

Y ahora estoy aqui

A master of Spanish as well

It's easy to lose yourself

Under my sonorous spell, isn't it?

 

Consonantes crujientes y vocales abiertas

Are tendrils from my tongue

Attracting your ears

To drown in my sensuous sounds

 

Ni sabes lo que oyes

But you are hypnotized

Looking at me like a trainwreck

You cannot ignore

 

Solo que aqui

It is a trainwreck inside me

Who is this girl?

Your eyes ask

 

I say “Adios, Mama

Te quiero mucho

 

And the spell is broken

My English returns with my other me

Whom you recognize slowly

As the me you know

 

That girl is back

My inner nature veiled once more

You won’t remember

But I’ll never forget

 

The way your eyes

Saw my other side

Glimpsed at that reality

And didn’t recognize who I was

 

I smile from inside

Waiting for the next time I’ll appear.

Poem by Eloísa Peréz-Lozano (USA)

Published in issue 39 of The Ofi Press

 

About the Poet

Eloísa Pérez-Lozano grew up bilingual and bicultural in Houston, Texas, where she currently resides. She graduated from Iowa State University with her M.S. in journalism and mass communication and her B.S. in psychology. She is a long-distance member of the Latino Writers Collective in Kansas City and she was selected to be a Juried Poet during the 2014 Houston Poetry Fest. Her poetry has been featured in The Bayou Review, Illya’s Honey, the Johnson County Library’s 2014 Poem-a-Day Program, and the 2014 Houston Poetry Fest Anthology.

Image by Mr. Hayata.