Tortilla Consciousness – Citlali Rose
Tortilla Consciousness Poem

Tortilla Consciousness

I wrote this poem back in 2011, and it has proven its relevance throughout the years and in various contexts. Thought I’d share it here and make it accessible to those who might find some healing in these words.

Tortilla Consciousness

strip away

the parts of me

of which your statistical norms

don’t seem to agree


“peel my love

like an onion”

leaving a stench of injustice

misaligned with the values that are we


hack away the leaves

and destroy the seeds

of consciousness

leave no trace of unacceptable unruliness


shape, assess, and mold

enforcing the status quo

take comfort in diminishing

dancing to a culture of zero tolerance


mold into toxicity

making it so that I can’t breathe

poison minds with doubt

stifling sacred purpose throughout


silence this rage

that I’ve honored within my spirit

silence this voice

that I’ve fine tuned over the years

to articulate myself against the injustice

imposed by those who would beat

my soul into submission

command me

to stand in line

with the others and lower

my eyes


my eyes

to what is going on

around me


strip me of my dignity?


Because I rise.

I rise

like a warm flour tortilla

bubbling on the comal

ready to create that comfort

ready to be more than just consumed

turning my gifts into energy

an energy that fuels

an energy that invigorates


While Mami is making mambo,

this mami is making revolution.


Resisting your perfect form

refusing to become

a tool of your oppression

Declining to recreate the injustice

that I seek to rise against

as I seek to enlist warriors

in a struggle

as we build consciousness together

creating a critical mass of critical minds


We do not bow our heads

remaining silent

passive to your efforts


We speak, we rise, we shout, we stand

Demand and Command



with swagger.

y que



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