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This animated poem, “Café con Leche”, addresses the bicultural nature of my Dominican-American identity. I wrote this poem in 1999, and recently decided to begin visualizing the poem through animation.

In 2003, the written poem, “Café con Leche” (below) received an award from the Washington D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. It was also included in “Our Voices, Our Images: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage”, an art and poetry exhibition at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington D.C.


“Café con Leche” by Lisa Erdman

Sometimes it’s nice being half and half,
female café con leche
brewed from the beans of a Dominican mother
and the milk of an American father.

A steaming cup of cultural amalgamation
whose identity is blurry at best,
except on college applications
where you get to choose from things like
Caucasian, Hispanic, or Other.

Sometimes I forget
that I hablo español,
that half my family lives on an island
across the Caribbean waters.

But for now, I’ll enjoy my swirled identity
like a scoop of marbled ice cream
floating in a warm cup of café con leche.

© 1999 Lisa Erdman.