Home 9 Issue 9 I Triple-Dog-Dare You by Mia Orengo

Mia Orengo, age 17


I wanted to write about the assumptions that people make not only about who they see me to be but also of who I believe myself to be. I wanted it to be a fun way to challenge beliefs but also represent identity. In the end, I wanted to show that as different and magical as we are, we all come from the same place. Nothing really divides us.

I Triple-Dog-Dare You

I dare you
to think differently
so that when you see me
you won’t think
she’s just a girl
who dreams of being sovereign
of the world.

I dare you
to look behind the door
and question
if my looks
are all you need to know.

I double-dare you
to see my broken
so you can see the many
shining like stars.

I dare you to stare
at me
and the light
that I hold.
Watch me radiate it
with the wings
that I own.

They are made of Aztec blood
with conquistadors’
tears and sweat.

I was born in a city
that I thought was
named after me.
Mía, mine. Mía, mine.
Mía, Mía, tú eres Mía.
Mía, so very mine.

But I’m no more
then I feel myself
an expat.

What will you
say to a child
who grew up lost?

Will you tell her to put herself in a box?
(There will always be those who desire that.)
So that others can check her off?

I am multicultural
with the faces of
my past –
the reputable and the rancid,

The immigrants
and travelers
with the barbarians
and monsters.

La Gloria.

La Trauma.

My people will never define me.
My past will never define me.

For I am everything
and anything
I could possibly aspire to be.

I dare you to look at me
not with the eyes of a
but the eyes of someone

Watch me stand here
dancing to the music of my culture
a bit longer
swaying my hips to the rhythm
like my sisters and mothers.

For me to
For me to
For me to
tell you:

I triple-dog-dare you.