When you see me
you expect me to bow down to you
pray to God every night wishing I were you
but I love having that Latin spike in my blood
it’s a rush
A new perspective on life that not a lot of you people have
My demeanor might say that I’m narrow-minded
but you’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg
When I walk towards you see my dress swingin’
my gold necklace dangling around my neck
my strappy sandals smacking rhythmically against the ground
Can you also see the bruises on my knees?
the skin ripped off the side of my fingers?
From countless runs and slides trying to make it home
equality is my passion
capturing a moment for an eternity is my art
I’m not a virus you need to get rid of
I’m just here for the ride
Substances are not my high
America is supposed to be the land of the free
So let me be
Religion ruled over my life
without me even knowing
It took me in without my acknowledgements
like a stranded boat taken in by a huge tidal wave
He is the ruler
there was no consent
I continue moving through life looking through someone else’s eyes
someone else’s beliefs that were immediately stapled into my mind
the minute I was in my mom’s cradling arms
John 3:16: says that “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. “
but I’m submerged in a world full of woman grasping rosaries
as if it were their lifeline on the verge of being cut short
But I continue to pray
The man living underneath the world,
Living in our sins
continues to scare me back into that Catholic box that I once started to question
My numb lips begin to quietly recite prayers as if it were an everyday meal
my fingers start pointing at my forehead,
to clear the mind from any dark thoughts
move on to the center of my chest,
to let me know that the light still exists
Then, it motions from the tip of my left shoulder
crossing my chest and ends on the tip of my right shoulder
Sealing it with a kiss while looking up at those intersecting lines that everybody praises
With the hope that he will turn their prayers into reality
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing
I’m just wondering,
what would my beliefs be
if it were up to me?
They think they know
Just with one look they think they know what I have or haven’t done
Eyes of interrogation and doubts
corner the reality hidden with in my eyes
twisting to the other direction.
The direction of faded black and white memories.
The direction towards a clawing monster under a bed yearning for the truth
Screeching that you've done messed up.
Screeching that there's no way to escape its claws.
They say the clawed one’s are for the weak.
So, might as well call everyone weak.
Who I once was,
is a prisoner kept in the dark,
A prisoner locked in a jail cell holding the truth.
The truth buried in a back yard,
like a little kid is burying their imagined riches pirates, would die to grasp for.
Gripping their hooks into the truth so, it could slither up into lips full of hate
just to show the world the living lie crawling from the mouth of so called
“Miss. or Mr. perfect.”
Those whose dreams and reality are so close their lips gently rub against each other
In the end of the day when the sun fades and the stars illuminate the clear night sky
it’s better to be the quiet one.
The one that they least expect to mess up.
the quiet ones hide dark mysteries in their eyes.
The very same eyes that look away.
The very same eyes searching for acceptance.
The very same eyes that are bright enough to light up the night sky
but lethal enough to blind others from the real sins and truth.
Dear Daughter of Mine,
I want you to know that this world is so big-
And soon that smile will wear off-
And you might start questioning life.
You might also want to cut your hair off-
Or perhaps hide in layers of make-up.
Soon you’ll realize that the world is not made of sugar-
And you will stop liking candy.
And that fiery tongue of yours,
Will cool off soon with a sip of insults.
But you’ll know not to take them seriously when the time comes.
And the fairy tales I told you about-
You can forget about them;
Because gentle kisses won’t tell you how to live your life-
And the mirrors will start telling you lies,
So you’ll start studying the back of your hands-
Like they’ll give you answers.
And I want you to know that answers aren’t at the bottom of your glass.
Or that those three words you always hear about-
Won't always take your breath away.
I know soon you’ll stop caring,
And you’ll start holding on to movie quotes-
In hopes you can rewrite your film in one sitting.
I hope you know that silences can bring you answers-
And you’ll get tired of certain songs-
Because the memories they hold hurt too much.
And I want you to know that goodbyes will hurt.
And those nightmares you experienced-
They will scare you-
And you’ll believe they’re real.
But I want you to know that cheering with a cup of crushed pills-
Won’t give you the happy ending.
And growing up will seem scary-
And you’ll want to pretend to be the little girl who thought flowers immediately fixed everything.
In order to ignore the years to come.
And your arms will change-
And your eyes will become dull.
But your stubbornness will still be there.
And I want you to know-
That you’ll regret the words and insults you left on your body-
Because you now know everything was fixable.
And all the bittersweet memories you collected in a jar-
They were never meant to hurt you.
So, baby girl you can now get rid of those walls.
And I want you to be open to many things-
I know you will be afraid of everything
But you’ll start realizing everything soon goes away.
So, start smiling.
The students of the Summer Writing Institute