The Mexican Sangwitch
by Trinidad Sánchez, Jr.; photo: Andrea Tejeda Korkowski
Is it a tortilla with peanut butter and jelly,
or jalapeños piled on Wonder Bread?
Is it a coney made with tortillas,
or a Kaiser roll smothered
with salchichas y salsa mayonesa?
Is it chorizo con huevo on whole wheat,
or refried beans on white bread?
Is it the patron saint of botanas,
or a Mexican who can only speak English?
Is it the same as an American Taco?
Is it a Mexican playing tic-tac-toe?
Is it carne asada on rye, or guacamole on toast?
Do you really want to know why?
Is it me inside of you, or you wrapped around me?
Is it a güera dancing with two Mexicans,
or two gringos putting the make on my sister?
Is it a super sandwich, with the official
ingredients labeled: HECHO EN MEXICO!
Is it a plain sandwich
made by authentic Mexican hands?
Is it true Juan de la Raza invented it?
Is it a moot question?
Are you a lawyer or a poet?
Does the judge really care?
–Detroit, July 1990
Sánchez, Trinidad Jr. “The Mexican Sangwitch.” Poem from Why Am I Brown. Chicago: MARCH Abrazo Press, 1991.