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Coffeehouse Poets: You are not who you think you are

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Angel Ramirez

Angel Ramirez

The Yakima Coffeehouse Poets, a nonprofit formed in 2014 to represent the interests of poets and poetry lovers in Central Washington, is the organization behind this poetry column, which runs on the fourth Thursday of each month. It features inland Washington poets and their winning poems from the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets’ annual contest.

Learn more about the contest and the organization at and

From Angel Ramirez: Mine is a common immigrant story. As a child my family followed the natural migration pattern from south to north, then back south every year. Then when the well-traveled routes became strangled, we decided to stay where the work is. The Yakima Valley is home now. I, like the trees whose fruits I once harvested, have anchored my roots here.

You Are The Soul

Do you not hear your ancestors’ echos

The truth that they carried in song

and carved into stone

and painted in gold

How many times must you be told

You’re not the flesh and the bone

Don’t call yourself black or white red, brown, or yellow

You have no color no shadow no glow

Your cloak is the naked reflection of all of the things you behold


are a ghost

Don’t call yourself man woman or trans

Your body conforms to its cast

But there is no mold for the spirit to fill


are free will

Don’t call yourself African, Asian, Caucasian, Latin American or Mediterranean

You’re not from there

And you are not here

You were born and reside in the ether

You conceptualize place and time


are a mind

How many times must you be told

Do you not hear your ancestors’ echos

Do you not hear your own inner voice

When will you finally accept what has always been known

You’re not the flesh and the bone


are the soul

— Angel

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