You

I’ve been thinking about you lately
seems like I can’t get you out of my mind.

Everyday I find
my mind drifts to the time
we spent together

But now time has passed
and you’ve moved on.

I wonder if you even remember me

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Apple Cider Vinegar

I’m sorry body for feeding you
Apple Cider Vinegar
when all you wanted was some real food.

I’m sorry body for giving you
papaya seeds every morning
because they are supposed to make you lose weight
but you really wanted a hearty oatmeal and a cup of coffee.

I’m sorry body for slathering on creams
that are supposed to make you burn fat from the outside
but they ended up burning your delicate skin.

I’m sorry body for making you drink
bitter Apple Cider Vinegar
for not loving you the way you are
and for trying to uphold you to today’s beauty standards.

I’m also sorry body for not taking care of you
for letting my feelings consume me
and consuming fast food
to fill a void that couldn’t be filled
with anything.

I’m sorry body
for allowing myself to be sedentary
when all you wanted was to feel the cool breeze against you

I’m so sorry for mistreating you
for hating you
for allowing you to feel worthless.

I’m sorry body,
for feeding you Apple Cider Vinegar
when all you wanted was to be loved

Phone Calls

It’s the third call she’s made this day
Each time I hear Marimba ringtone, 
I let out a sigh

I do not comprehend
it’s as if I have a sign
on my forehead that reads “free therapy
only a call away”

She tells me her problems, very similar to mine.
I wish I could help each time she tells me she’s drowning into an abyss

I wish she understood I am drowning myself
and that I could also have a friend who had a sign on her forehead that read:
“free therapy… only a phone call away”

Angles

I tend to stay behind the camera
I find it comforting to capture a moment
rather than create it.

I am a paradox

I find beauty in everything, in
everyone.
but when it comes to me,
I cannot see beauty.

I am a paradox

I like the click of the camera shutter
I like the sound of the timer, the rapid beeps it makes before it goes off.
I like the way the flash illuminates the darkness

But I do not like my pictures taken,
unless I am taking them
and the camera is positioned 45° above me.

So when you asked me for a picture
I panicked.

I immediately thought of my best angle.
Which one would make me look less fat?
Which one would hide my double-chin?

Which angle do I pose in?

Lured

I lay defeated in bed all day

but it’s not because I worked too hard

or did something extreme.

I lay in bed because I’m

depressed and fatigued

and I just don’t know what to do anymore.

Sleep.

Sleep seems to be comforting.

It makes me forget that I am depressed and upset and sometimes lonely.

It lures me to bed, telling me that this is where I’m safe,

but I am not.

While I sleep, the world continues outside my window.

My friends go out without me, my job doesn’t get done.

I sleep and sleep and sleep, forgetting the world for hours, sometimes days

but the world doesn’t stop for me

 

Your Existence is Radical

Did you know your existence is radical?
Do you know that colonized minds don’t know what to do with your thoughts
when you speak up and demand for the rights of your gente?
Did you know that when you refuse to comply to the norms society has established, the earth trembles because you are trying to change her,
for better.

Did you know?

Many have tried to silence you
or worse, they try to demonize you
on TV, when you shout, they say you are
too disruptive and angry and you feel too much.
Many have tried to colonize your mind
because your ideas are scary, because
they shake up the very foundation of this nation:
Corruption, inequality, the pursuit of happiness – but only for those who are rich and privileged

“Pick yourself up by the bootstraps” they tell you
Knowing very well that ours are tattered and worn and need mending too many times.
But you, brown girl, you picked yourself up by these so-called bootstraps and when they ripped on you,
You mended them with the love of your parents, with the support of your friends, with the sweat from your skin as you worked to get ahead.
Each time they’d ripped, someone helped you mend them along the way
and you, you never gave up.

So they were shocked when you made it out of their plan
of the school to prison pipeline.
They were surprised when you demanded scholarships and federal aid because you earned it.
They trembled at your feet when you told them
“No more, para mi gente voy a luchar y continuar”

They tried to pull a quick one on you, but you,
brown girl, you knew too well the tricks they would play
so you became sly as a fox and schooled them at their own game.

You brown girl, who carries the roots of your gente.
You, brown girl, who watches mami y papi work long hours
in the fields
or in construction
or as maids who get mistreated.
Jobs nobody wants because they are above them 

You, brown girl, who got told her features were too ugly
growing up
and yet,
Kylie Jenner wants your hoops, your lips, your curves, your hairstyles, your culture without giving credit.
You, brown girl, whose lunch was ridiculed and called gross because they couldn’t handle the spice,
and yet,
they want your family recipes now
so they can sell them at fifteen bucks a pop
and insult your dishes by “toning them down”

Your existence is radical because NO ONE wants to give you credit for the trends you set
and yet,
you come up with hashtags and trends every week.
Your existence is radical because no one wants to acknowledge the diplomas you earn, for the change you are gonna make.
Your existence is radical because when they told you,
You can’t,
you showed them you COULD.
You are radical, brown girl
You are radical because they are afraid of the change you’re trying to bring to this world
Because you won’t sit still when they tell you no.

Never stop dreaming, brown girl, never stop chasing your dreams
Never settle for what others want, go live the life you have imagined
Because this is what they don’t want from you
keep voicing yourself and accomplishing your goals.

Coffee Date

I like the way all the sounds of a coffee shop
mix into one.
I like the way everyone has something going on

I like the background noise, as I read my favorite book
and the way I feel less alone
even though
I’m surrounded by bunch of strangers

I love the way the scent of coffee
clings on to my clothes
even after leaving
I can still smell the sweet aroma
of that coffee shop

I love to drink my coffee nice and slow
allowing all the flavors to be appreciated

I love taking myself out
on coffee dates

An Accomplishment

You’d think a brown girl would amount to
nothing.
You’d think a brown girl wouldn’t have dreams of
higher education and scholarships.

Society conditions you to think that we could never
amount to anything.

Society conditions us to drop out of high school
It conditions us to think college is too hard
if we even make it that far.

Society told me that I couldn’t graduate from
a four year institution.
It told me I didn’t belong when I walked to class,
because all I saw were white faces in the crowd.
It told me to get out when I heard classmates say
racist words, or when they confused me for the
“other Latina” in the classroom.

When they spoke about money,
I had $0.09 to my name.
Their spring breaks consisted of Cabo and Puerto Vallarta
Yet they shouted “Build that Wall”
four months ago.

Society told me I couldn’t
so I did.

I graduated from a university that didn’t care about me
I wasn’t brown enough for their pamphlets
so they never featured me in anything

I graduated from a university that said
“We’ll let you in, but we won’t help you once you’re here”

I graduated from this university who didn’t give a shit
about me or my brown peers.

They told us we couldn’t make it
so we showed them we could.

A Letter from a Friend

I truly believe you are beautiful, inside out. You have so much turmoil and yet, you still reach out to others. You’re so caring. It’s wonderful! You have the ability to understand others and life in general. Your insight and perspective on different situations is so beautiful because you can see both sides to a story. Not many can do that. You have character. You’re different and unique!

Wrapping up undergrad is definitely an accomplishment! The powerful you will be successful in whatever you pursue. I truly believe you have a bright future ahead. You’re one of the strongest, wisest, and most respectable individuals I’ve met. I wish you the best!

Love,

– L

Hiding

I don’t think I’m necessarily in the closet
because my sense of fashion is terrible.
If I was still in the closet, you’d think,
at least I’d had some good sense of fashion
from being there for so long.

But,
I’m still hiding,
somewhere.
In my room, from myself

That’s it, I’m hiding from myself
From parents who are too traditional
From society that doesn’t accept me for who I am.

I’m hiding, and while sometimes I don’t mind it
I wish I could be who I truly am.