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English con Salsa

Welcome to ESL 100, English Surely Latinized,

inglés con chile y cilantro, English as American

as Benito Juárez. Welcome, muchachos from Xochicalco,

learn the language of dólares and dolores, of kings

and queens, of Donald Duck and Batman. Holy Toluca!

In four months you’ll be speaking like George Washington,

in four weeks you can ask, More coffee? In two months

you can say, May I take your order? In one year you

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can ask for a raise, cool as the Tuxpan River.

Welcome, muchachas from Teocaltiche, in this class

we speak English refrito, English con sal y limón,

English thick as mango juice, English poured from

a clay jug, English tuned like a requinto from Uruapan,

English lighted by Oaxacan dawns, English spiked

with mezcal from Mitla, English with a red cactus

flower blooming in its heart.

Welcome, welcome, amigos del sur, bring your Zapotec

tongues, your Nahuatl tones, your patience of pyramids,

your red suns and golden moons, your guardian angels,

your duendes, your patron saints, Santa Tristeza,

Santa Alegría, Santo Todolopuede. We will sprinkle

holy water on pronouns, make the sign of the cross

on past participles, jump like fish from Lake Pátzcuaro

on gerunds, pour tequila from Jalisco on future perfects,

say shoes and shit, grab a cool verb and a pollo loco

and dance on the walls like chapulines.

When a teacher from La Jolla or a cowboy from Santee

asks you, Do you speak English? You’ll answer, Sí,

yes, simón, of course. I love English!

And you’ll hum

a Mixtec chant that touches la tierra and the heavens.

Gina Valdés grew up on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. She is the author of two poetry collections, Eating Fire and Borders and Bridges, both from Bilingual Press. The poem is published by permission. Photo by Veronica Cunningham.

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Lemon Grove Celebrates Peacock Nails' Expansion

Welcome to ESL 100, English Surely Latinized,

inglés con chile y cilantro, English as American

as Benito Juárez. Welcome, muchachos from Xochicalco,

learn the language of dólares and dolores, of kings

and queens, of Donald Duck and Batman. Holy Toluca!

In four months you’ll be speaking like George Washington,

in four weeks you can ask, More coffee? In two months

you can say, May I take your order? In one year you

Sponsored
Sponsored

can ask for a raise, cool as the Tuxpan River.

Welcome, muchachas from Teocaltiche, in this class

we speak English refrito, English con sal y limón,

English thick as mango juice, English poured from

a clay jug, English tuned like a requinto from Uruapan,

English lighted by Oaxacan dawns, English spiked

with mezcal from Mitla, English with a red cactus

flower blooming in its heart.

Welcome, welcome, amigos del sur, bring your Zapotec

tongues, your Nahuatl tones, your patience of pyramids,

your red suns and golden moons, your guardian angels,

your duendes, your patron saints, Santa Tristeza,

Santa Alegría, Santo Todolopuede. We will sprinkle

holy water on pronouns, make the sign of the cross

on past participles, jump like fish from Lake Pátzcuaro

on gerunds, pour tequila from Jalisco on future perfects,

say shoes and shit, grab a cool verb and a pollo loco

and dance on the walls like chapulines.

When a teacher from La Jolla or a cowboy from Santee

asks you, Do you speak English? You’ll answer, Sí,

yes, simón, of course. I love English!

And you’ll hum

a Mixtec chant that touches la tierra and the heavens.

Gina Valdés grew up on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. She is the author of two poetry collections, Eating Fire and Borders and Bridges, both from Bilingual Press. The poem is published by permission. Photo by Veronica Cunningham.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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