Academic journal article Afro - Hispanic Review

Fresa

Academic journal article Afro - Hispanic Review

Fresa

Article excerpt

I.

I asked my mother:

"Why can't I eat one?"

Since my doll had a strawberry

hair, hat, dress, smell.

She said,

"You'll get typhoid fever

like I did

just after you were born.

I almost died.

Strawberries

are irrigated

with shit, and

no matter how much

you wash them,

it won't come out.

You can only eat them

if they are cooked, in a jam

or a pie."

Later I learned

that strawberry

also means

yuppie,

stuck-up,

boring,

status quo, rich and uptight.

What my friends called girls

who wouldn't:

hang out with them,

smoke pot in the park,

or were too demanding.

I wasn't fresa.

Not dangerous.

Not difficult.

Not a threat.

II.

I eat a strawberry,

unwashed,

at the farmer's market

in Hollywood.

A little dirt

never killed

anyone.

The woman tells me they're delicious:

freshly picked

in her farm up the coast.

It tastes like fine sugar,

like mint almost.

The deep red of fresh blood

- a pinprick

more purpled:

it is a heart

between my fingertips.

III.

Strawberries are the only fruit.

Seeds on the outside.

Ready for the world.

Fresa: the first fruit - from the latin, fragra.

Varieties grow in different regions:

Dhmante, largest of all, from Watsonville, Salinas and Santa Maria.

Camarosa, pink, with a good shelf-life, from Oxnard, San Joaquin and San Diego. …

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