The Game

How do I get these damn boys off my back?

They call us girls?

Call attention to my immaturity?

You know what matures you?

Curiosity, novelty, challenge.

You know what these boys pretending to be men lack?

Curiosity in a world inevitably spinning,

novelty in a world made for their hands,

challenge in a world shaped by their fear.

Yeah, pretty face, we all have our shit —

but do you know how many bodies you’re crushing

when you cruise on your motorized fucking skateboard?

Do you realize how pretentious you sound

when you brag about beating everyone at Mario Kart,

about your Supreme bag being a garbage can?

Games aside, life is not a game, not matter how long

your gender has imposed limitations on the rest

all I ask you is that you get off my damn back,

so I can defend those I love, maintain my compassion,

and lend you a hand

once you decide to get off your high, power-hungry horse.

 

To all the people out there who try hard to be patient with and have empathy for that rich white cis dude but know it’s harder than it looks…I’m with you.

 

November 24, 2019

Only In My Head

Does anyone else

realize how fast

we are moving,

or is it just me?

Railroad cars,

and subway cards,

and price limits,

and band tickets

all so much to buy

I’m not sure who has the time

and courage

to yell, “Stop!”

Just fucking stop already.

I channel my thoughts to my 17 year old brother

awake,

in bed,

on his phone,

under a VR mask,

playing the switch

(or whatever it’s called these days).

Yes, play Pokemon Go, my boy,

but don’t live Pokemon Go.

“They think I’m happy,” Yeah, Joe.

“They think I’m happy when I’m sad.”

That’s all this social media is about.

I may speak, write, live directly,

but I can be patient about it.

Do not write me down as just another name,

another number, to walk into a room of strangers,

check my pocket three times for a ghost buzz,

see no notifications, selfie instead, and move on.

Instagram? Marketing.

Facebook? Self deprecating.

It all doesn’t exist until we make it exist,

that’s what Steve Jobs, a Steven Jobs,

said, some time, some where.

The Internet is a place like any other;

no wonder we move so fast to keep up,

living in two worlds —

I got enough on my mind,

a bi gal wondering what to do with all this love.

Be patient, spread it ’round;

don’t squash it and run.

 

This all happens in my mind, 9AM,

on a subway car: cold yet humid,

crowded yet silent

on mustard yellow seats

pretending to be chairs,

heads down,

money away,

screens up.

 

August 28, 2019

 

Thank you Jonas Brothers for inspiring this poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZnBVfSGdqk

A Note

To my beautiful baby brother:

you have to grow up in an age of social media

and all of its toxins

and it is not your fault.

You have no control over it,

nor do I.

All I want do to is live it for you—

the suicides,

the mass shooting threats,

every day life in boring ass high school —

keep it boring!

School was meant to be that way,

safe enough to be boring.

Not even the white people are safe,

not even the rich people.

My beautiful Puerto Rican brother:

do you fit in? do you like it? do you not?

Tell me more than “ugh.”

I know your innocent face,

your soul-searching eyes

I have seen your heart

and its pure essence

a thousand times.

I just hope I told you enough stories…

about how much you are loved,

and how smart and kind and handsome

you are, my brother — you can do it,

because it cannot last for much longer.

I will take every bullet of some child

calling out for help;

I will relive 9th, 10th — fuck, every grade

if that is what it takes to protect you,

to take up that space of wondering.

The world has changed

in just 10 short years between me and you.

Look at what Facebook has done,

kids sending Snaps 1,000 times a day.

My brother I do not know shit about “SnapChat”

but I know you are more than it,

I promise you.

Everyone is wandering,

looking for more than a screen—

and yet video games have saved you.

Play SmashBros all freaking day

if that is what it takes to save you, my boy,

from giving a damn what people think.

How do I protect you from this world…

this pit of society

that is eating minds and bodies alive?

How do I get you to talk truth?

Who cares “how.”

Know that it is enough to try,

enough to be with yourself,

fully.

Whenever your body yells,

“Trauma!”

“Pain!”

“Greif!”

Cradle every part

and say, “I am here for you, always.”

And remember:

your sister is here for you.

Always.

 

March 29, 2019

When you say “androgynous” I hear

bits of masculinity:

I feel more real this way.

Do I miss the flowing hair?

A veces … the high ponytails

and free forehead.

When I dress more “masculinely,”

when I embody that “ethos”

I flow out of some societal lens,

into some truth

that maybe the earth does have “feminine energy” —

astrology teaches it and lesbians believe it —

but I am a Capricorn and I am content

being grounded in brown boots

and only Earth below.

When we say masculinity belongs to

one group only

what does that say to the rest of us?

Dressing like I am not just

a pretty fucking flower…

it is so liberating

and yet one big fat nada:

it’s all I’ve wanted to be,

want to be,

and have been,

all along.

 

March 27, 2019

 

Also, check out this cool video on two folks’ definitions of identifying as non-binary versus androgynous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsJUDFmauCI

 

 

But

I called Allie and told her:

That’s it?”

Okay.

First kisses aren’t supposed to be good, right?

But can I think of kiss with a man that was “special”?

Some felt special…but I never understood why.

With her though…

I felt a hunger beyond thought,

beyond practice —

beyond expectation and protocol.

Do I feel that way with men?

Or is it more me practicing a movement,

an excitement, a momentum I’ve been taught?

The idea of being with her is more all encompassing

than I have felt for anyone else.

But I still know, deep in my soul,

that Adam Levine is hot as fire

and I would have been with Charlie in a heartbeat…

that it’s fun to dominate a guy,

and that I can do it well– ask them.

But am I aching for their touch?

Even with all those long term crushes?

I could play this game all day, comparing

gender

when I’m actually comparing

people

and there is not much more to it than that.

 

The soft skin — it’s real.

The emotional connection — it’s real.

Wanting to call you, she, they

baby…

that is something I know

I would never want to call a man,

even before my pink brain understood feminism,

before I had a reason to ask Charlie to a ball,

or chase Dan around a school yard.

It just feels more right —

and yet I have practiced this with men all of my life –

how many of us are there?

Chasing people we can never love around a globe, around a city.

It’s unfair to everyone involved, really.

Will I never be with a cis-man?

Of course not.

I have loved men before and I am sure I will again, statistically.

But…

 

To every bisexual who has every wondered if they were just gay or a lesbian…even when you’re confident in your identity.

 

October 12, 2019

Stories

Waves of story –

that is an emotional life…

trauma informed you have to mentally be still,

learn to see the busyness in your body, in your mind, practice

often, even though it isn’t fair you were born into a god damned

patriarchal, capitalistic, racist, classist, sexist, homophobic society

that favors my white Latina skin, that denies my queerness,
that pokes fun at my gender
every   single    day.

And stories- stories are life’s meaning that, in their fullest,
most fleshed out form, make us human.

I want this to be an ode to SBU; to HC;

an ode to Bruce,

my body, my breath;

an ode to my throat; an ode to my face;

an ode to my familia, my Kenny, my mother; an ode to my father,
brother, sister, to friends long lost;

an ode to America, to nationalism and Puerto Rico’s remains;

an ode to my pen;

an ode to emotional bodies laying dormant, untouched,

by a warmed soul lingering underneath,

pure animal energy

born in the womb of the Earth, returning to the universe

once I dare to turn each story around…

December 6, 2017

11:11

At 11:11

I will make a wish

that one day

my 11:11 wish won’t have to count,

won’t be some far off, preposterous thing,

that being a person,

first and foremost,

is about existing on Earth

and not in someone else’s wallet.

 

At 11:11,

I will make a wish

that all of my future wishes

come true.

Birthday cakes, eyelashes,

four leaf clovers–

send them all my way

and soon veganism will be widespread,

time machines will be real

and life will come with an automatic “pause” button.

 

I don’t want to leave

this time, this place

just yet.

 

The dollars we learned

to put above ourselves

back in 2017, 1999, 1776– they are far away.

 

Nothing to despair over.

 

It’s just 11:11:

four parallel lines

chasing after each other,

and never meeting.

 

August 27, 2017