Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mujer # 17

Because you addressed me
with shrugs, each
arch of back
a warning

de niña I wanted
only the purpling of lips
insatiably     biting
plum flesh

if only
you understood
the nostalgia
of collateral damage:
bone snapping    and
rogue gaps
along fidgets
you too would
lull into my terminal syphon

rocking, rocking
until spines collide
big bang theory mami

you a universe of atoms
and i an atom
in your universe.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Playing Jacks

Because your hands like boats
docked into evergreen jumpers
and nylon stockings

Baba didn't tell you so
that the multicultural bulletin
-shades of tan paper dolls hand in hand
were a game of darts.

That you were just the right shade
and the right height to be baby
and not a delinquent
a vagabond, a loafer.

That waiting for the bus
twirling hair and sucking fingers was
not arrestable on the terms of loitering
that the road to Winchester Thurston School
cut through Black Wilkensburgh
Wilkensburgh of cop cars and sirens
scraped knee and dawgs
and drug dogs and Baba
was the pack mule and
you the cargo
the contraband of masala brands
that were not quite not white
but so close to right.

Nena he didn't tell you
that your nail file was a weapon
and playground rounds of cops and robbers
was a punishable offense
Feds breathing down Mumia's neck
when Baba told you speak the truth

he didn't mean to tell
the truth, the whole truth
and nothing but the truth
hey baby don't lie
stick a needle in your eye
or tire swing banter.

When you spoke of Andhra suns
and girls under tents
you pouted
just like you were trained, daahling
Ms. Dialis smiling, pashmina shrugging

orientalism was the only drug on the block

thought it was just all right
bros and hos
booty shakin' ghetto getup
at the school social.

Nena blinded to the west side
school house rocks couldn't be jailhouse rock
imprisoned in the privilege
of semetrically cut cucumber sandwiches.

When you were 9
cops were your heroes along with mama and baba
and the boys on the block
who wore baggy clothes as dark as you were
in the summer during wintertime
were up to something

not imagining 6 year old Regina
was escorted out of class for screaming
because she didn't share because
you didn't either

imprisoned by visions of Amreeka
Baba painted for you to protect you
from school prisons and prison schools
what difference does it make anyway
when you are hanging on monkey bars
swinging, swinging
hiding under jumpers and lace.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dear Mr. Republican

I see you across the Mudbox watching me. 
See you cross and uncross your legs. 
It is only out of my vanity do I notice, Mr Republican
The sweat over your brow
the tie around your wrists
collars haphazardly pressed
Mr. Republican
I see your eyes wandering to my ankles
noticing the hairs on my shins
lace slips between knees, I see the doves in your chest leap. 
I see fear in your eyes, make you nervous
thought I’d just blend in. 
You needed the East through me
lauded me for my Bollywood and colors and nuclear deals
Recognized the only legitimate brown revolution as Gandhi
fuck Nagaland, fuck the Naxals
You forgot the mass burning of White western cloth
boycotts as radical- you erased that, forgot about me. 
Faces interchangeable, masks ready to be torn. 
Thought they’d have the same eyes, the same nose
same teak wood breasts, same amazon vine arms
wrapped around your chest- everywhere women just like me. 
My eyes burn you. My voodoo doll eyes burn you. 
My four armed nympho kama sutra goddess eyes burn you. 
Can’t charm me, can’t charm me
can’t bear to know
dark shouldered Westerner ‘speak good English too”.

Remember me, Mr. Republican?
Freshmen year, second semester SIS 100
I bore gifts from Chiapas. Here take this
NAFTA signed and kissed besos besos Subcomandante Marcos
we don’t need agreements no more in the montanas Mr. Republican
I watched nudge your twin with plastic pamphador 
“where’d she come from” papi im here to stay. 
You’re upset because you confused me
for pseudo liberals in navy blue conservative wear. 
Assumed my short skirts made me a biddie
cant pin me down in your binary
You gulp, Mr Republican
fearing Id start a brown or dyke or even white Revolution
cant bear to imagine I pinned shattered mirrors on my chest
like Juana Ines de La Cruz
turning rubble to rocks to hills again
can’t shut me up, cajole me, hold me, seduce me, race me, embrace me
tongues click 1 hundred 86 thousand miles per second
Afraid that my tongue rolls in my mouth 
afraid of the moans and orgasms reached across the table
as I read Homi Bhaba, Foucoult, Anthropology as I bounce my knee.
Puzzled I dont grab my uterus in fear 
as the war against women rages. I smear on war paint,
show you my battle scars
instead I plan on licking my lips, begging you to resist
Scared that I measure a man’s balls to the size
of my fist. Afraid you won’t size up. 
Thrusts in the air Im dressed in the words you gave me Mr. Republican. 

Thousands of years ago, sky opened up
and magma met ocean 
shrieking lightning bolt screams
the earth was borne in 7 days, each day 
a day of a woman’s cycle. 
I am nothing but the stuff of big bands
diamonds meeting at my thighs.
Humor is all I need- empowerment- a dialectic
I read the myths on the back of women’s palms
tear out the sheets, splatter murals on my back.
I want to be the example you give to your children 
when talking about bad, bad girls.
Im the zapata, the malinche, the mata hari
flavored curry you buy at Whole Foods
We the stuff of Hindu myths are your biggest nightmares
Revolution, Brother Guevara said, is the most primordial 
mark of love. So I’m here with love and a condom 
and a dildo and a drum and a mic
So I’m ready, Mr. Republican 
making you nervous, remember my grin
purse my lips draw skirt above knees like trees. 
Oof Mr. Republican Im ready give me what you got. 
Im not easily to please. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

play things

you poured me cognac
just to watch me pull in too-sweet cheeks
grimaces not supposed to be grimaces
tulle skirt slips, bobbing knees
unintentioned stiletto cracks
hallow wind tunnels
you make taking
my hand into your hand.

I’ve never trembled
like this before
-abalone eyes
I’ve watched you
lay into the corners of my lips
uncrossing t’s and licking the dots
off i’s
leaving my tongue deaf
and my ears numb

you ODB, shimmy shimmy ya lovin’
cool cool cat

“too cool 4 skool-mann”
I almost believed it:
empty notebooks, pens hollow,
Crime and Punishment buried under towels

I forgot why the longing
in your limbs
the cigarette silence
shoes by the door

I want to
resurrect men sculpted
from torn sheets of music

rub my eyes
tell them- read
the neon mascara psalms
hidden in my fists.
break the teeth, snap the bone

pin the shattered mirror
to my chest
Juana Ines de La Cruz
they call me

but you’d chuckle
almost knocked off the bench


the cig will scorch your thigh
ya allah are you ever still

cachinnation clinks glass
shimmy shimmy shaking
politely I sip, pursing merengue lips
watch me pucker, let it slip.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blend No. 27s

I smoked cigarettes for you
stuttering and stumbling
aware of cilia crushing fires
that chained and arrested me like
a dominatrix cop

creo en dios pero hice en malas cosas
I believe in gods but do bad things

disguised coughs as chuckles
you mistook clumsy (a)diction
for femme female,
plumes curling
down opened white collared shirts

you held my hand
showing me off, my red herring lips
pursed- you were so so proud

7 minutes gone
the PSAs scolded us
7 minutes you
puffed, sighing
7 minutes saved
aside for me.

What I loved about smoking
was the sudden gasp
escaping your chest

-dropping beer bottles on sidewalk
-cold hands, canvas, bare back
-skirt slips and arm twist

I loved

that your lips turned grey
and your voice wary, caresses
in the folds of your face.

Mama warned me to stop smoking
why I wheezed
“you look like a bitch”

you found
the chingada puta in me beautiful,
dressed my thorn crown
lit black candles and silk scarves
immolation was never so sweet.

Clouds and clouds
you lost sight
of furrowed brow and sweat
smudged kohl
and overlooked
yellowing cotton
eyes glossing, no oxygen

in our dizziness
we breathed intifada kisses
in a mutual martyrdom
communion nonetheless

you left to go inside for a jacket
“its chilly” you waved
the pack still gripped into my arm

nene, lo siento
I smoked them all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


In the midst of cotton nights
he moaned across the ocean
screeching for the hem
of mama Sosa’s sleeve

reminiscing a translucent gesture
opaque in the confines of his skull

I held on for dear life, quierdo
like sun-dried mud caked under your empty kophers
to imagine, to imagine
te quería mas de piel mia


tears that fed trees like milk, calcium
grows twigs resilient to piercing greys
your eyes never left Sugatra
as you peered into me
and into effervescent currents

claiming that blind, dumb salamanders
were your only reality

poor poor niño
and I mean it like you, your people do:
noting the slight boy najwa in his eyes
water in his waist, stickiness
across fingernails
hesitant of the rushes you cause
as your toes spread in terra cotta
clotted earth.

mi amor, nada siempre jamas.

I still cross the same lines
you planted
into my palm
amongst kisses and slight pinches that
held the woman inside of me
hostage, captive in a cage

and habibi

how I yearned
to pull her out by her hair
shaking and shrieking
in fright,
embarrassment , silent

to sharpen knives in her teeth
and rest her assassin hand
between shoulder blades you call home, where
blood damns into tributaries
beneath peach-blue stretched sky.

Trust me puto

you might as well have the privilege of knowing:
I rub the phantom grease
off my chin and moan.
Clean apron, hunger knife
you beautiful , beautiful brute

ai nene

to believe the buds in your britches
once bucked and bolted
against the breaks in my hips.

to know the sight of
purple breasts
caused you to cower

but that’s ok because
even the most famous artists
in front of rigid earth, unfinished business.

Romance prevails reality intrudes
wasn’t it after all sadhana
that saved my astringent soul?

pulling stems from Abrahamic wool

I slouch
and sigh

I have nothing more in my pockets
but seeds for the small birds
tucked in your chest

te quiero
te quería
te quiero nunca jamas

Dedication: To a boy-man (something like that) who halfway forgot his mission as his hands ran up my pleated skirt. Be forewarned nena.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Origins of Earth

Billions of years ago, in the folds of pangea
Mama said lovers are like limestone
-one move and they will crash.

So I fear your palms
into mine like boats
my own fingers grow warm, river
waves seethe in the tips
your hand slides under worn
worn thighs

little did I know
my breath against pueblo kneck
caused sinewy curve

I'll take you to zion

but realize brutish beauty
was to my side all along:
sedimentary chest molds as
rain drop tips the end
you dissolve slowly

into me
river sway, pebbles afloat to aquatic
floor, tucking
waxing-waning. Winds coo
against your walls
I carve you
until creek and chisel

but earth shifts beneath feet
my brackish waters fall
into tierras womb
you, across the ocean
stone crevices yearning damp skin

you crumble into yourself.