Que No Puedo Entregar

By Brittany Leitner

after i finally write about being
mexican i am told i can’t write
a whole book about being mexican

i tell my boyfriend he is white
privilege and he smiles because
i have it too i

don’t know what i have when no
one is looking but i think of my
mom and she is the mexican one

i know el chico del apartamento cinco
doce but it’s not because my mom
told me about him it’s my sister she

sings to him near the stereo
and i wonder if he sits on the
stoop like me and has big plans

to tell the world he’s not
mexican or if he’ll always be trapped
in that song que no puedo entregar i

sit and try to untangle my
blood but my veins snap like
accordion pulls and they come

back to form the mariachi band
that lives on my shoulder and
sings to me when i can not dream


Brittany Leitner is a journalist and poet living in New York City and originally from San Antonio, Texas. Her articles and poems have been published in Bustle, Elite Daily, No Dear, Palette Poetry, The Write Launch and elsewhere. Poems from her 2018 chapbook 23 Emotions have won the Sequestrum new writer award, the International Merit Award from the Atlanta Review and third place in the 2018 Palette Poetry Prize judged by Shane McCrae.

Image: Original painting by Brianna Keeper