I love your handwriting
Your cursive moves
The roundness of your As
The slickness of your S
The shape your full written name makes on the page.
I love your firm mark
The tracks you leave behind
On the following pages of your journal
And on my life.
I love your pen
The one I can’t touch
The one I just follow with my gaze and admire
The way it flows and dances to create
And how I know this is the way to your true self.
I love your long hands
How erratically they thrive
They run to catch up with the stories living in your head
In your ancestral mother’s place
In the brown bodies of boys and girls learning to dodge the bullet
Learning to create a safe space for and by themselves.
I love your words
Both of chaos and strengths
They speak to all of struggles and victories won on the day by day.
I love the image you portray
The one lingering on people’s face
The one that transforms a room into a safe space
The one that empowers and inspires by virtue of self.
If this poem were me
If this poem were an essay
I could explain, rationalize and attempt to prove
How a person changes from innocence to adulthood
How her morals and ideals die and become a need to survive.
If this poem were a play
I could portray, in detail
With visual emotions, annotations, prompts and a stage
How the world is fake, made up everyday
Fit to suit those who write, direct and produce the play.
If this poem were a novel
I could explain or very well elaborate
On the feelings that make a human change, compromise,
Sell his soul for a ride or a ticket on a passing all-inclusive-one-way ride.
If this poem were a movie
I could show with music, an editor and special effects
The meaning of life here on earth
Show how to live in harmony with the living, the eternal and the dead.
If this poem were a myth
I could explain the birth of all human
I’ll start with the most organic emotions of love and hate.
If this poem were a comic
I would draw, just like a child would,
How we are all the same
Boys and girls
Playing many different games
Some more real and cruel than others
With more to lose or gain
But I can’t.
This poem is just a poem
A couple of words pieced together with a common threat
No clear beginning nor end
Just ideas, feelings and visions through a lens.
Yoseli Castillo Fuertes, born in the Dominican Republic in 1972, migrated to the United States at 16. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Spanish Literature. She is a bilingual-afro-dominican-latina-lesbian poet-activist-teacher-aunt. She is a Cave Canem alumnus and her poems and short stories have appeared in various anthologies in New York, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Santo Domingo. She has published the poetry collection De eso sí se habla/Of That, I Speak.