Monday, December 19, 2016


i used to touch the bruises on my legs because the surge of pain would remind me over and over again. i would replay the moments in my head trying to remember what i did so i could avoid it ever repeating.

you always told me to wear jeans the next day so no one would see. you said it so lovingly, like you cared about not putting me in that awkward situation. i eventually convinced myself i didn't like shorts or skirts anyway.

do you think that in some weird twisted way, that's why purple is my favorite color?

Monday, December 12, 2016


the first time he came to me was in my sleep. he had feathers the color of coal and wings that smelled of salt. his skin, even with all of its scars, appeared to glow under the moon. months later i found him wingless on the beach, his back still bleeding. he said the water called him to me, waves guiding him to my shore. i brought him home that night, and every night after. i would fall asleep to the sound of his voice, dreaming of his wings. he'd be gone by sunrise, but always returned with the moon.

Monday, December 5, 2016


it's no secret that your dark skin glows under the moon's reflecting light. but what you may not know is that the night isn't your only home, beatrice; the sun yearns for your return. it calls out at sunrise, wanting to kiss your back and shoulders. it misses filling your hair with scents of warmth and life.
i know your heart has learned to love the darkness in all of it's glory. i know you wake as the sun goes down and immediately reach for the moon. perhaps you can be a nightingale; singing both at night and in day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


it started with night sweats; he would wake up drenched, even when the room was set to sixty-two degrees. i don't know what he dreamt of, or if he dreamt at all, but i know that he'd toss and turn. one day, he woke up to the entire bed covered in sweat. he dressed that morning and never made it back. i heard that he'd jumped into a lake to cool himself down and no one could get him out. they tried shouting, crying, and threatening, but nothing worked. he found the lake filled what his insides had been missing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


there's a circle of events present. i find myself in this roundabout that i had no idea existed until the same scenario played out again. here i am, sitting in the very same table that i left four years ago. i am having supper alone and for very much the same reasons, until you arrive. hundreds of miles of difference and here we are. in the same table. the same meal and at nearly the same fucking time.

after a piercing silence i think, maybe i can get away from this once and for all... never look back. perhaps we can even get rid of supper altogether and never eat again. i can always find a different way to feed my soul with the inconvenience of our shared truth. but it's dark now and i'm outside, jumping into the cold water by myself. you would think we have grown accustomed and maybe even found some comfort in this. in recognizing the routine of having no one to keep me warm afterwards. i sink deeper and deeper into the water and still, you're inside. no amount of screaming or calling out will bring anyone or anything forward.

my heart begins to beat slower and slower after the jump. it has mellowed out to a single soft pulse barely recognizable to my own chest.
tell me, love, will the moon be witness yet again to another hopeless night? will she remain still as she watches the same blood spill again and again and again?

i look to her, find me floating, sweet moon.  do not let me overdose on this idealization of love. do not let me attempt my own ending to this tragedy.

i float through it all without drowning.
once i dry off i pretend it never happened and i go back to climbing up the same mountain. i find myself at the top again and my heart begins to race once more.

find me at the top and join me, i call out.

perhaps there will be more on the table this time around.
maybe the coincidence of it all is but a mere error in the loading of data onto this day.
perhaps the similar dance had left me all too cautious and conclusion-seeking.
perhaps the silence has been much shorter than i have made it out to be and all i need to do is try again.

perhaps i want nothing to do with change and i will recreate the same damn thing that has happened time and time and time and time again.

here i was.
here i am.
here i will be.

and  my mind and heart will be sealed off and my emotions will be so pleasantly delivered that when i set fire to your soul, you will have no idea where it came from. when i combust in your mind you will be too drunk with my name to realize what is happening. make no mistake that i have written the starting page and the last ones. i have numbered them all with red ink and have bookmarked the fall.

allow me to lead you into that room with the supper table, we both know how this ends.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

the stories of lovers

i was the right girl,
for all the wrong reasons.
he couldn't give me up,
always shooting up,
savored every drop,
...then dropped me.

i was the right girl,
for all the wrong reasons.
thought he could hold back,
possibly throw me back,
stole what he didn't have,
then stole my heart.

i was the right girl,
for all the wrong reasons.
i could never leave.
he forced me to believe,
that he'd always be around
...until he wasn't.

   i was the right girl,
   for a short period of time
   in which it took to escape
   what once was your life.

   i was the right girl,
   perhaps honestly so,
   never thoughtfully so,
   for all the wrong reasons.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


and yes we've had a few drinks
to remember all the things
that we have selfishly done
oh, so cautiously done.
and we regress and progress
to that night we undressed
all our desires and regrets
and all else you can detect
from our skin's drunken scent. 
we arrive and we leave
done things you wouldn't believe
our newest and worst
lies never rehearsed 
hours of passion and lust
never again can you trust
So yes, we've had plenty to drink
so to remember all the things
that we have selfishly done
so lovingly done
so viciously done

Sunday, March 27, 2016

\ˈbrau̇n\ \ˈskin\

lil niña by yoli manzo

in the early years brown skin came accompanied by a spanish accent and a loss for the right words. it came with insecurities and a deep desire to be lighter and more capable of conversing and laughing at the jokes i could not understand. i spent countless afternoons in front of the mirror covered in my fair-skinned mother's white face powder and a few brief moments of pretending i was someone else.

one hungred

it's one HUNdred

one huuuungred

no, no, no... you have to say it right or they won't respect you, my father would belt.

in class i would sit cross legged amongst my peers and watch them present their show-and-tells. my teacher's last name was the spanish word for heron but she couldn't understand a single word i said so i wouldn't make a sound. i desperately tried to soak in all of their words and match them to their expressions. i would sing along to the ABCs and for an entire year could not figure out where the letter elemeno was on the alphabet wall. in the mornings i would follow along to the pledge of allegiance by making sounds that i thought matched those around me. i felt like the class's pet parrot with no idea on how to process these feelings.

all i wanted so badly, was to belong. to let my father know that everything he went through was worth it. to honor my parents' sixteen hour work days. to be the reason both felt they had made the right decision. i wanted to be their american daughter.

it didn't take long in retrospect for me to be fluent and almost accent free by the time i was seven. the thing is, my skin was still brown, and truly always will be. nothing will hide or mask my roots and nothing can come close to making up for the feelings of isolation; nothing should.

i cannot keep wearing my skin as a layer. for though it shouldn't define who i am as a human being, because of what it's brought me, it does.

i am beautifully brown. beautifully unapologetic. beautifully human.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


he handed me the heaviest of five drums and as i began to place its harness over my head he asked why i was so drawn to it. i paused as the weight of it settled upon my already aching chest and back. i paused long enough to close my eyes and remember.

     the rooms were often dark and unoccupied, the walls bare and depressing. everything was always still and quiet up until it wasn't; until something would make the volume abruptly blast with crashes and screams and shattering mirrors.
     when i was younger, the only thing that would distract me from the sounds of breaking glass was pretending that my pounding heart was a bass drum; the pedal hitting harder and faster as the seconds slowed down... the breaking glass mere cymbal crashes. everything around me was orchestrated and if i could get myself to play along, i was no longer a victim, but rather a participant.

i opened my eyes and tried to smile as he handed me my mallets. 
i guess i just like trying new things, i answered. 
i took my mark. i looked up and around in search of faces i knew i would not find. 
my heart, still pounding. but this time, i was the bass. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

what it was

i come from dry summmers and broken windows.
chipped paint and full bookshelves. 

i come from empty rooms, loud nights and shattered glass.

i come from akward hugs, long laughs and a teal pick-up truck in the drive way. 

i come from an early drinking age, pink toe nails and uneven fringes. 

i come from memories and broken promises, forgotten "i love you"s and an unset curfew. 

i come from dry tears and a broken family started by two lovers who fell out of love. 

i come from that which is a part of me, and forever will be.