Creative Writing: Poetry
I am currently working on my first bilingual book of poems, unified by the idea that the human body serves as metaphor for interpersonal relationships. One of my poems, Binding of Bone, was published in 2010 by TEA Literary Magazine, the literary magazine for UF's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
I am in the midst of setting up a poetry blog to improve access to my writings. Check back soon!
Binding of Bone
Your body is my favorite book. I read
it best when you’re asleep, the book exposed
on jersey sheets. Pages made of skin cells
that I have memorized like the rhythm
of your breathing, as familiar to me
as the tendons of which you are composed,
as the scar behind your elbow that spells
out fragile: handle with care. I know some –
no – all of this language on your skin. Scenes
of freckles dancing on your back are disclosed
to my eyes as sinews and muscles tell
tales of movement, your story never done.
When morning stretches next to us in bed,
I close the book and wait to read again.
Open Letter to Victoria’s Secret
Pregnant with multi-billion dollar power,
You claimed to give birth to beauty and raise sexy
Into a Caucasian capsule that you forced down my throat,
Covering my cries of protest with cheap lace and ill-fitting wires.
You gave your angels wings and promised us
We could fly on their thin backs,
But the wings were clipped and ragged,
dirtied from the stares of men
Who watched your angels walk hungry, clueless, and shaking
into your coliseum of oppression.
You treat your angels like Gladiators, Victoria.
You force them into gaudy costumes,
Tell them to walk to the death
On a stage of glitter and prepubescent sexuality,
And now we are stuck here, too:
Giggle for me baby,
Be sexy for me baby,
Swing your tiny hips and flip your hair
And maybe we will love you, baby.
Bite your lip for me.
Swallow your identity.
Be what I need but don’t be too much,
You can own this catwalk if
you’re not too black,
not too strong,
not too thick,
not too wrong.
Can you do that for me, baby?
Can you be forever young?
You are full of bullshit, Victoria.
You slip your secret between the innocent thighs
of girls who’ve never felt the joy of being a woman.
Have only felt the shallow admiration that comes
From being cleavage covered in white cotton.
The glossy pages of your catalog teaches us
That being sexy means being 14,
hiding behind your hair
wearing someone else’s fantasy.
You never teach us to walk like queens.
You teach us how to crawl, Victoria, how to stand naked
In front of crowds with nothing on our backs
But the heavy, meaningless expectations
You say will make us beautiful.
Our girls never grow up.
Their hips swell and their breasts hang
But all you tell them is keep being 14;
Your innocence is sexy.
Wear your wings, angels.
Stay stuck in this circus of saliva and fast heartbeats
And if you feel like dying, bury yourself in baby doll slips
Ignore the garters that lock you in -
The spotlight of attention that turns you white –
Forget your name -
If you can pretend, baby,
If you can keep Victoria’s secret,
We will cheer for you when,
Clothed in this season’s misogyny and heartbreak,
you prance on stage,
We will applaud you, baby.
We will pretend that you are beautiful.