Poetry: “I VISITED THE TEMPLES OF TENOCHTITLAN WHEN I WAS 8 AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY IMPOSTER SYNDROME” by M.R. “Chibbi” Orduña

I VISITED THE TEMPLES OF TENOCHTITLAN WHEN I WAS 8 AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY IMPOSTER SYNDROME

I have never felt more like a tourist
as when taxied in the streets of my birthplace
unable to have a conversation

without tripping into the borrowed currency
of a colonizer’s language harboring
a bloated throat behind this port of entry

                a hundred skies away
                from mis abuelos

I am suffocated
by the realization
there is so much of me

foreign and undiscovered
how Cortés of me
to gleam the riches of a culture

and call them mine without a single callous
I am little brown boy wishing he were browner
little brown boy güero despite the black curly hair

                                              am I loved
in a country that hates where I’m from

                                              am I hated
in a country my parents abandoned

am I the X in LatinX—the variable
always trying to be solved

I want nothing more
than to be a Carretero in Oaxaca
instead of an Orduña in Texas

rejecting the American
manipulation of my Mexican
two first names too cumbersome

for people to hold them holy––I am
becoming what is most convenient
for the people & leaving behind la gente

when we meet again how will I look
                mis ancestors en el alma

& not feel like I’m breaking
                into their afterlife

About M.R. “Chibbi” Orduña

M.R. “Chibbi” Orduña headshot

M.R. “Chibbi” Orduña (he/they) is a Mexican-born, Texas-raised queer poet and actor, the founder of Laredo BorderSlam, a founding member of Write About Now, Director and co-host of the Words and Sh*t virtual talk show and podcast, and 2-time San Antonio Slam Champion. He has self-published 2 books and was the co-editor of the anthology Contra: Texas Poets Speak Out (Flowersong Press, 2020). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Texas Review, The Acentos Review, Defunkt, Voices de la Luna, The Latino Book Review Magazine, The Journal of Latina Critical FeminismWax Nine, We Are Mitu, George Takei, Button Poetry, and Write About Now. You can follow him on IG @gemineyes and Twitter @gemineyespoetry.