If I told you I was from Hell’s Kitchen,
Where mafias and gangueros paint the past-
would you know where I’m from?

Where I’m from, it’s the melting pot of the city
where cultures clash, but mine always present

Where I’m from, steaming cups of cafe bustelo straight from la cafetera
greets you with its intense and welcoming aroma,
Although the smell of weed and cigarettes linger the halls

Where I’m from, generations of people from all over tell their stories,
of triumphs and fails,
of could-have-beens and what-ifs
I’m from the never-finished-school and the do-your-best-in-school

Where I’m from, Sunday mornings smell of clorox and fabuloso
and sounds of bachata, salsa and boleros can be heard through the walls
As the record player spins, its round disc playing the sounds
of latin icons from the past

CC BY-SA 4.0 Where I’m From by Mariam is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Eden 5 months ago

    Dear Mariam,
    I am fascinated by how you managed to speak on where you’re from in your poem, “Where I’m from,” because You manage to describe what you have been through and the description of your neighborhood without actually letting people know where you’re from.
    One line that stands out for me is, “ Where mafias and gangueros paint the past-
    would you know where I’m from?”,I think this line is interesting because you asked a question to the reader which I didn’t see in any other poems. I also like the way you gave a good description without revealing too much. Another line that stands out for me is, “steaming cups of cafe bustelo straight from la cafetera
    greets you with its intense and welcoming aroma” I think this line is fascinating because it shows what created the aroma. Instead of just describing the aroma you said what created the scent that brings you home.
    Your poem reminds me of a poem that I once read. The poem described a certain thing that would remind the lady of her home. Everytime she would smell the scent she would be reminded of her mother. Not only a scent but other things she would see on the street would bring her home.
    Thanks for your poem. I look forward to seeing what you make next. I like the way you described certain things without going into too much detail. Which would leave the reader guessing

  2. Penelope 6 months ago

    I absolutely love this poem. I love the detail you go through about where you live and what you go through without directly stating the exact place you live. I love how open you are about where you live and the condition it’s in, even if it’s not always a happy one. Keep writing!

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