A monologue by Skye Ellis
AUNT RAINA: Carambolas...
that’s the richest I’ve ever been ... running barefoot down the
street, pulling fresh carambolas from rows and rows of trees.
They were all over Limon! I always ate my belly too full of
starfruit and it’s the only time I’ve ever been rich. But the
family still had to get to America, where I was sure there were
no starfruit trees.
In Costa Rica, there was always talk of the roads in America.
They were gold. My cousins told me so. Yeah, we had starfruit but
we wanted gold! We wanted to walk on it and sleep on it and ride
around on it in fancy gold cars and we just knew that we could
On my first flight to New York City I remember being so excited,
staring out a small window just barely bigger than my head. I had
this picture in my mind of the plane landing on a long golden
strip, next to tall buildings made of glass and gold. I thought
everything was gonna sparkle. I’d run the streets of my new
golden neighborhood and I would shine!
But then there was no gold. New York wasn’t golden, hell, it
wasn’t even silver. I looked everywhere... it was grey. It was
foggy and there were too many smells in the air. And I remember
the day, the sun was bright but nothing sparkled. All the roads
were like all the other roads anywhere else and none of the
grown-ups even seemed to care. They all stayed excited and I
couldn’t imagine why.
Looking back, I remember this thing my grandfather would always
say to us kids: the land would give to us if we gave to it.
Whether you’re growing food or building houses... Abuelo knew the
streets weren’t made of gold. All along, he meant that they would
provide whatever we needed as long as we worked.
There never was any gold. No golden cities, no golden roads. No
matter how hard we worked or prayed, here in America, everyone is
a certain type. You come in a certain type and you stay that type
whether you like it or not. And we were just never the gold type.
We’ve always been the starfruit type.
Skye Ellis, age 24, examines community and intersectionality through the many elements of performing arts, including writing. While she moves to promote healing and empathy, her work constantly stimulates questions about the institutions to which we involuntarily belong. Ellis believes that the best way to explore and expose the answers to these questions is through publicly accessible art that relies on the stories and voices of the oppressed.