i am midway through “when we make it” by brooklyn born boricua and amazing poet-author ELISABET VELASQUEZ. this book is so truthful that it makes you realize how unseen our lives can be sometimes. it follows two sisters in bushwick in the 1980s-90s (?), growing up, and making things work with their mother, their hopes, their faith (and doubts), their day-to-day, apt-to-apt life seeing as much of what to do as what NOT to fall into. readers witness underreported loyalties and beauty, as well as the difficulties navigating poverty. i hope you can borrow it in person. here are some knock-out lines:
The people in the streets / have their own story to tell.
& I’m writing my own story / so I can remember it accurately.
in case someone else / tries to tell it for me.”
Professional Spanish is fake friendly. / Is a warning.
Is a downpour when you / just spent your last $20 on a wash and set.
Is the kind of Spanish that comes / to take things away from you.”
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