Twelve.

 

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I

Be

One day

Pain, Love, Body

Blood, Birth, Womyn

Sister, Mother

Justice, Courage, Freedom

Powerful

Resisting, Resilient

Expression, Revolution

Complicated celebration,

Independence, Resurrection.

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The House on Madison Ave.

I live on Madison Avenue in Southeast Los Angeles. I know that I will wake up to the sound of screeching tires because the driver did not realize there is a stop sign at the end of my street. I know that the womyn selling tamales will come down the block around seven in the morning to yell out, “Tamaaaaaaaaales!” I know that I will hear the old man, who picks up recyclables, pushing his cart to get beer cans and bottles down the alley. I know that it is not safe to walk down the street past sundown. I know that Madison Avenue (along with most streets in Southeast Los Angeles) is very different compared to Rodeo Drive in Beverley Hills. I know that although the same street, Sunset Blvd in Beverley Hills transitions into Cesar Chavez Avenue as it reaches East Los Angeles. I know that if you walk down Rodeo Drive, the famous 90210, you will see designer boutiques and possibly celebrities.  I know that if you walk down streets in Beverly Hills, you will see bike lanes, green spaces, and White people. I also know that down the streets of Beverly Hills, you will not see a power plant by an elementary school or a toxic battery recycler contaminating people’s backyards- in fact, you will not see any industrial zones. Even when our streets were dirt roads, and nowadays black pavement, they are still the mechanisms in which we survive.