Kisha Borja-Kicho`cho`
Contributions

Guåhu si Kisha Borja-Kicho`cho` (familian Låsaru). I am from the village of Mangilao on the beautiful island of Guåhan. I teach drama and creative writing at a local public high school and am also an adjunct instructor in the English department at the Unibetsidåt Guåhan. I have a B.A. in English from Hawai`i Pacific University and a M.A. in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. I am also currently pursuing a second M.A. in Teaching from the Unibetsidåt Guåhan. I am a daughter, sister, partner, poet, activist, educator, and cultural perpetuator. I enjoy living on Guåhan, working in my local communities, and doing what I can to raise awareness about the Chamoru culture and people and the U.S. occupation of our home.    

Nu i Che`lu-hu Palao`an


Like the two lovers,
the sisters tied their hair
and together
they jumped off
Puntan Dos Amantes
into the tåsi,
cleansing themselves
of all
the pain,
mistrust,
hurtful words,
awkward moments
of silence.

In this ocean,
the ocean of their Mother,
they immerse themselves
regaining strength,

Loving each other all over again.

Together
their hair still connected,
they rise quickly
through the water
like dolphins
and jump
into the air of their Mother.

Landing back in the ocean,
the sisters
hear
the såyan tåsi of their father:
“It’s time to go back.
Nånan Tåno` is calling for you.”

Their hair now separated,
the sisters swim back
to the land
of their Mother.

Mano`oppop
Gi i inai, mane`ekungok in fino`-ña as Nånan Tåno`.

Laying their bodies to the sand,
they listen to the words of Nånan Tåno`.

“Fanmanaguaiya.
Fana`asi`e`.
Yan hassuyi mo`nana,
na en fanafa`maolek.”

“Love each other.
Forgive each other.
And always remember,
to take care
of each other.”



Sitting in History


Do you know what it’s like to sit in a history class
           listening to your professor talk about his history
my history
your history
our history?

Do you know what it’s like to sit in a history class
           listening to your professor talk about what life was like
For your ancestors
           before the Spanish came
                      Chanting, Fishing
                      Latte, Lusong
                      Amot
           when the Spanish came
                      cross, bible
                      clothes, church
                      baptism
           after the Spanish…left (but never really did)

Do you know what it’s like to sit in a history class
           listening to your professor talk about one colonizer
                      after the other
           Countries that hung their flags
                      and told our people that we were under their control
                      Us not knowing that we would lose control of everything we knew
           Our people’s ways of living were forever altered
                      tainted by the colonizers’ (plural)
                      bibles, crosses, churches, SPAM, chocolate, McDonald’s, militarism

Do you know what it’s like to sit in a history class
           Not wanting to listen to your professor talk about
           the tragedies of your people
                      how the Spanish came
                                 and killed THEM
                      how the Japanese came
                                 and killed THEM
                      how the Americans came
                                 and killed US

I know what it’s like to sit in my history class
           listening to my professor talk about
           our people
           our past

I know what it’s like to sit in my history class
and feeling
on some days,
like I don’t want to be here

Listening

But on most days,
feeling
like
I am being reconnected
           to my ancestors
           to my past

I know what it’s like to sit in my history.

I’m sitting in it right now.