What You Call Your Territory I Call My Home

"What is another word for colony?" and "What if," two poems by Nicole Arocho Hernández

What You Call Your Territory I Call My Home

What is another word for colony?

The internet tells me my country
has a dependency. Without being 

a possession of the United States, 
how could we have survived? Our 
veins 

needing the high of first 
world blood money. Maybe 
being 

a territory is not so bad, like 
some grown-ups say. Maybe 

we deserve dominion. 
Guttural without the 
protectorate. In  

settlement communities, you 
know, in Dorado or Condado 
                          (or anywhere— 

you can find beautiful 
outposts fenced and feudal 
             holding 
                   clearing 

for a new mandate, an offshoot 
swarm: this new land will 
become 

our satellite state. Our 
domain. The antecedent for 

speckless regions around 
the world. Shiny with 

virtual gold. In this patch 
of tributary, we can reverse 

the subject state dilemma 
of the locals and build 

a district the crypto gods 
would be proud of. This 

vessel will make a statement 
in the millions. How 

could the natives not 
be into the idea?  
                      Blows my mind.


What if

my country’s people brought the 
hurricane with us wherever we 
went. Every time 

a gringo would do 
something shitty, we could 
gift them 
a slice of this storm. One where 

the eye gives you time 
to pray for redemption, 
look around and think My 
life 

was pretty good up to this. And 
we would know that God was 
never looking out for us. We 

had to shove our ocean mouths up 
the colonizer’s throat to realize 
we were indeed stray mutts. After 

the upheaval exclaim 
We catapulted to survive.  
These skies are not for you 

to dream, to build on. This 
is our sky. We breathe 
in peace, finally, here.

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