Emily Westmoreland: Awkward

Emily Westmoreland reading ‘Awkward’

There is no word for awkward in Spanish.
No me siento incomoda.
Tampoco me siento rara.

Me siento como mis piernas y mis abrazos están sticking out at strange angles,
Como los curly blonde hairs on my legs que
Las abuelas en el metro miran fijamente.

Me siento como I’d like to stay in, pero voy a salir,
O salgo a las diez, y llego too early para la previa.

Me siento como I had to tell your abuela that vegeterianas don’t eat jamón.
Ni pescado.

Me siento como un handshake,
En vez de dos besos.

No me siento incomoda ni rara,
Pero tampoco me siento como en casa.
Me siento awkward.


This poem is in Spanglish, the affectionate/informal term for mixing Spanish and English. I have been learning Spanish since I started university and have lived in Madrid for two years. As my entire life operated in a Spanish/English bilingualism, I often joke that, ‘Spanglish is now my propio idioma.’

Click here for a translation.

Emily Westmoreland (@limeywesty) is an Australian bookseller living in London (previously Madrid). Recently she has been working with Desperate Literature to launch a literary prize for short fiction. The inaugural shortlist was published as Eleven Stories, and the anthology was launched at Desperate Literature in Madrid and Shakespeare & co. in Paris. Other work by Emily has appeared in Global Hobo. 

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