"US" - A Spoken Word Piece About Becoming A Haitian-American


We slowly dragged our bodies

from the kitchen to the living room

Drunk off Haitian cake and Haitian rum

It was one of those warm nights

that only belonged in playwrights’ and authors’ imagination

I could hear his body drop to the couch  

while I found my way to the floor right next to the coffee table  

The music in the living room had now morphed

into a soft murmur against my ear

I insisted we only listened to music from home after dinner

The soft caress of the carpet along my back

was the only thing keeping me attached to this moment

I could fall asleep right here

But not before he would exclaim,

“Haiti is poor because of its geographical location,

the idea of a curse is a ludicrous”

We would then throw ourselves into a whirlwind of endless political debates,

Heated arguments

And wobbly dissertations

Fueled by gigantic egos fighting to have the last words

We would drown our native creole

with that-still-hard-to-pronounce-English

That we had forced our brain to accommodate to

And secretly regretting at times to have allowed it so much room

Before we knew it we had added our names to a long legacy

A new generation forming opinions based on a distant reality that no longer existed

We would scream loudly wherever we could and to whomever wanted to hear

Only to be reminded by a distant cousin that our opinions were outdated,

Damn near useless

We are neither from here or there

Kisa diaspora konnen?” What do you know, diaspora?

Expats. That’s what they call some of us here

Ex because we were no longer home

And pats because we were this new wave of exiled nationalists

We get to visit home in our dreams, almost every night

Or what our memories, after all those years, had convinced us to be true

Decade old frozen memories


About The Author:

This piece was written by Talissa Adrien, a young professional based in Boston. Talissa was born and raised in Haiti, and moved to the U.S. at the age of 15. For years, she has wanted to express what it felt like to truly become Haitian-American. Her point of view of said experience is outlined above.