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i go by many names
by Demir Sanal

My mother calls me her corazón de melón.
To my father I am his aslan oğlum.
As a child I was ojos grandes to my Cuban relatives
and çilli yarim to my Turkish relatives.
My identity is made of two halves.
My croqueta preparada and pastelito de guayaba half
and its beyaz peynir and çay counterpart.
Soy medio cubano, yarı türküm.
Sometimes these two halves feel like they don’t make a whole.
Sometimes it feels like there is a Demir-sized gap in who I am.
I’m cuban, but not “soy de la Habana” cuban.
I’m turkish, but not “Kadıköy’de büyüdüm” turkish.
So who am I?
I like to think I’m the only Demir Sanal.
The only person to live this half-cuban, half-turkish, Miami born and raised experience.
And I like to think that’s pretty special or especial or özel.

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