Poet Sara Borjas Helps Us Imagine a Post-Covid Party

Written by Olivia Muñoz, LCF ‘s Economic Justice Program Manager

Words have the power to move us—they can make us laugh, remember those we love, and help us find the strength to continue striving for change. They are the building blocks for the stories that make us real. 

As we round the corner on this pandemic, we know that holistic care is necessary to truly heal from so much tragedy. This is why the Latino Community Foundation incorporates the arts in all its events—even the virtual ones! In 2021, we have featured Latinx poets at the beginning of each convening, including Yosimar Reyes pumping us up from L.A., Gabriel Cortez talking about his Panamanian roots from the Bay Area, and most recently by Sara Borjas from the Central Valley.

Sara calls herself a Chicana, a pocha, and a Fresno poet. She earned a BA in English Literature from California State University, Fresno, and a MFA from the University of California, Riverside, where she now teaches in the creative writing program. Her first book, a collection of poetry called Heart like a Window, Mouth like a Cliff, won an American Book Award in 2020. 

We’re proud to honor these artists this #NationalPoetryMonth and every month. The cultural grounding they provide resonates with our spirits. And our spirits need it.

Sara debuted a new piece, “In Your Honor, We Are Going To Have a Giant Latinx-Ass Party,” during LCF’s event A Year on the Frontlines of COVID-19 on April 1. The poem delights in the resilient, celebratory spirit that fuels the Latinx community and looks toward a future where we can party once again. She dedicates the piece to the frontline workers—and to all of us—who continue to work through this pandemic.

Please take a second to read Sara’s poem below or watch here.

In Your Honor, We Are Going To Have a Giant Latinx-Ass Party

by Sara Borjas

And if you’re old enough to be here, even if you

don’t recognize it as work, you earned this:

You. The essential, the caretakers, who made

each space safe. Who swept your hands over

each surface, adorned each tool, each door

to a loved one, each aisle in each grocery store,

each bench we rested, each mirror

we pep-talked ourselves in, And you—the essential

who nurtured the lettuce harvested the tomatoes

inspected the peaches loved the alfalfa the walnuts

the grapes the cantaloupes the cotton, you

who loaded the trucks, drove the trucks,

fixed the trucks, unloaded the trucks,

cooked the meals, dressed our children,

burped our children, watched our children,

held and fed our babies, fed the world, then

went home and fed your children, fed

yourselves, fixed your truck, held your baby

held your husband held your wife held

your lover, in honor of you we are here

to drink the Tecate and the Martinelli’s

and the 24 packs of Pepsi and dance

with our cousins and friends and tias

and dads and the babies we haven’t

yet held because of you—the essential

the teachers who soothe and listen

to our students babysitting their brothers

and sisters, who help our children feel

comfortable in whatever space they can

find to work in. And you, the essential.

The children who translated for us, who

communicated complex conversations

between our parents and doctors and

nurses, you, who represented the household

to landlords, you, who became the lawyers

the record keepers the poets of our families

in honor of you we are going to eat all

the cake and paletas and in all the backyards

in all the neighborhoods in every town

in honor of you—the essential, the caretakers

who take us to our appointments, who lose to us

in daytime poker, who hate the same

characters on TV we do! Who help us

to our favorite chair at noon, who cook

the lunch that reminds us of El Salvador,

Guatemala, Honduras, the DR, Cuba,

Valenzuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico.

You! Who comb our hair and keep us

looking fly, who press our favorite shirts

and dresses and make us feel

twenty-something again, we are going

to sing each emotion we didn’t have

the capacity to feel, so loud,

it’s unfathomable. So long, it’s eternal

and there’s going to be millions of golden

microphones and PA systems on wheels

flashing with blue lights and entire bands

behind us and while we are talking about

bands—you! The essential, the mariachis,

the artists the vendors the musicians and

painters the barbers the manicurists

the hairstylists the line cooks the hospitality

workers the plant store owners the gardeners

the carpenters the plumbers electricians

the chefs who make the day-to-day sing

on intersections and freeway offramps

in corner stores in rented chairs. You,

who imagine the thing so it can be thought.

You. the essential, the small business owners,

the dreamers, the relentless, the ambitious,

the believers—let’s drink all the margaritas

and the agua frescas and buy out every

Food 4 Less and Vallarta and Save Mart

and Dollar Tree of decorations and Hot

Cheetos and candy necklaces and foil trays,

in honor of you: birria pupusas pizza

platanos ceviche baleadas sopes

chile rellenos arepas strawberry soda

horchata Pacifico fancy tequila fancy mezcal

fancy whiskey fancy everything!

We are going to pass all the knowledge

and culture (and the chisme too) that’s

been on pause, the elders to the babies,

the sisters to the brothers, the ancestors

to the ancestors and we will share

the things we learned we needed,

the things we learned we did not need,

the stories that made us doubt, the stories

that keep us going, the stories about our future,

which we will call a party, a future we worked our

asses off for, one we earned, one that does not stop

Listen to Sara’s poem HERE!

Follow her @saraborhaz

Website: http://www.saraborjas.com/

Book: http://www.noemipress.org/catalog/akrilica/borjas/

Originally published by the Latino Community Foundation: Source

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