This piece is a Venus sculpture drawn on a vibrant hot pink background.
The tropical leaves around her seem to almost cover her body, but it never fully shadows.
Nudes have always been the most intriguing object for me to draw,
because I think they are the most beautiful thing that could exist on earth.
We all should never feel shameful about our curves, and our curved body;
the symbol of femininity. And not only women, but each individuals must love their physical
specialties. We should all be proud of our natural body.
You called me brave
and I smiled to myself, thrilled
at the thought of some self
of mine as a protector
wielding a bow, all grace.
I stood with my feet apart
clawed my way up
out of myself
chills spread like flames over my shoulders
and faced this straight on.
I felt this infinite feeling
in the last second, elated
held tight to the fear in my heart.
I traded every weapon for a shield
and started down the mountainside
when the clouds give way to sky
and stars shake off their bright disguises
I hope you can see them.
Loretta knew mountains would clash tonight. She stepped into her living room, startled to see her
guardian, Kenneth, leaning on her two-seater couch, his fingers drumming on his lap. He stood
up the moment he sniffed her presence.
“Loretta, I hope you know it's tonight?” he said, bowing as though she were some kind of
royalty. Although she was. But she loathed it when it was shoved in her face.
“I know. I wish I could avoid it or simply prevent it from happening.” her voice lacked the
fervency she'd rather it held.
Kenneth's regard conformed. “I know you wish that, but if you'd obeyed your parents, everything
shouldn't have been the way it is right now.”
This piece is a depiction of wildflowers that do not exist in reality. The unreal flowers were
used to not to limit the imagination of the audience. Vivid flowers are patternlessly
arranged on a dark navy colour for a contrast. I wanted to tell that all the brightness of the
world can be itself only if the darkness is there, in a more dramatic way. It may be seen
as quite depressing and disturbing, but just as how brightness depends on the darkness,
it reveals that dark still coexist with the light. While it is very common to only think of just
one single thing, and consider everything else as extra complexity of the whole picture, I wanted
to find the tranquility under complications.
The day I name the way
it begins to own a bit of me,
and I lay
my claim on a patch of its length
an overgrown shrub, the time-eaten wall
and a shameless body of muddy water.
At one point
I feel the desire to leave the maze
From hollow in my abdomen
an eclipse of moths swirl out.
Content warning: allusions to domestic abuse
The screeches we heard at night were pumas, barn owls, and El Sibador. They came when
the white men came.
My mamá spoke of the Cihuateteo, luring us westward when we did not come home
before the sun set. Yamilex scared me with tales of La Llorona when I would stray too close to
the waters of the river in the basin, but I know she was more concerned with the Sánchez
Navarro men seeing me and becoming too friendly.
I chose to become too friendly with one of them before she could catch me, and we were
married in the summer of 1935, when I was seventeen years old. He was twenty-four, and a
On the night before my wedding, a white man's wedding, my cousin Citlali told me I
shouldn't have done it. Yamilex scolded her with her eyes, thinking I wasn't watching, but I
already knew that neither of them wanted me to marry this man. But I loved him, and I still love
him, in a way. They were older and thought they knew better. It wasn't until I had my own
daughters that I understood how they felt.
Trigger Warning: Blood and gore depiction
Take out all the ingredients and place them on your counter./I'm lying naked in a labour room.
Soak the flowers with cold water./Waiting for my flower to be soaked. Add hot, boiling water to
the teapot./I tell them water's boiling, baby, alive. Add apple slices into the pot and chop them
with a wooden spoon./They remove my silverskin from ribs. Whisk in the chamomile flowers
and 2 cups of boiling water./I can't see anymore, my ba-, do-, ple, ali VVVEEE, pls. Let it steep
for 2-3 minutes./They say it's my new life. Pour the tea into two cups and enjoy it with
honey./Little do they know, it's the first living funeral of the dead
If ever a symbol of us existed,
It would be your car
A car made of cursory confessions
Stored under seats
Pinky promises stretched across our chests,
Become the only seat belts we'll ever need
The day's insecurities tossed in the back
(you think we'd be more careful with our worst fears)
Fastest routes are forgotten with a touch to your thigh
And this car, your car,
A car made of hollowed out Starbucks cups
And McDonald's fumes
Intertwined with the smoke of bad decisions
Has become shelter
From the storms slipping through our fisted fingers
Because I swore on the Bible that I would tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth, and God always knows when I lie.
Because I want to be clean; clean as a blade through skin, a church pew before Sunday service, a
wooden rosary worn smooth by years of wandering fingertips.
Because the Bible says “respect thy mother and father,” even if you have a father who loves Jim
Beam and the crack of a belt more than he loves Jesus.
Because the only burning I can stand is the carpeted kneeler in the prison church rubbing my
Because there is no second baptism.
Four-thousand-and-fifty days, five-thousand nights,
A grey-haired woman peers through her telescope,
Searching for the moon that wanders alone,
Yearning for the shadow that once embraced it.
The pitch-black umbra surrounds the moon,
A throwback to that starry night of old,
When Luftwaffe's flames kindled the flicker,
And the face of death shimmered in her world.
Two barrage balloons fell from the sky,
As thunder roared through angry, black clouds,
She glimpsed fragments of a dive bomber's skin,
Painting the heavens amidst her bird's feathers.
With avocado toast and Americano dark roast
Hot chicken mushroom soup with a cottage tulip vase
Made by your mother
who now has the vote
Soft background music and art therapy
All done by your sisters
who now have the vote
Dime-store perfume and a fat cat
All in your granny’s house
who now have the vote
A few hundred years that Adam was in charge
But now it’s Eve too,
she has the vote.
You look at your mom, smiling at you, and you realize that you will never get to live with her as
a child ever again. The next time you see her, you’ll be an adult and she’ll be old. That’s the pain
of loving somebody, you want things to stay the same forever just when it gets good.
You look at my mom the moment before you move across the world to be born again. Just this
time, it’s not from her womb. You see her smiling face. She used to tell you stories about when
she was your age, and one day you’ll tell her the same stories she told you.
You won’t run into her in the house anymore. You won’t eat her meals. You wont get to run to
her when a laundry problem arises. But you know she’ll stay right there in the same place she
has always been, and when you come back, she’ll see how much you’ve grown.
We went that day
specially to see her childhood home.
We weren’t sure what state it would be in
and so we didn’t say anything
as the Uber travelled across the city
to a very different part
that my mother had once known
like the back of her hand.
My father, at one point,
exclaimed – “It is not there!
It is gone. Your house.
She Was Only Five Years Old And Sweet
Young Naive Damsel And Ambitious
I Bet She Had Bright Future And Big Dreams
She Felt Comfortable And Safe Around You
She Looked At You As Her Hero And Protector
What Do You See When You Look In The Mirror
What Did You See When You Look At Her
What Came To Your Mind When She Cries
Are Her Tears Not Transparent Enough To See Pain
How Does If Feels Murdering An Innocent Soul
In her green dress flowing around
If I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake?
Cursing my name, wishing I stayed
I wish I wasn’t dead to you, because you’re still at my wake
I can’t curse your name, and I wish you stayed
Millions singing along with her, and I hope they relate
I can go anywhere I want, anywhere I want, just not home
And she falls to the ground, on her knees, desperate
You would be my home for as long as I remember you
And without you, I’m free but without a home
And I wish I couldn’t relate
There is nothing more excruciating than rejection. Holding your heart out on a platter, offering it
to one whose soul you see mirrored in your own, only to be told no. No, it’s not good enough.
You are not good enough.
You are not enough.
The sting burrows its way inside, not content to settle just under the skin, but needling
deep into the void where your heart used to be, before it was ripped out. That’s what I was
reflecting on, anyway, when a voice interrupted my thoughts.
“Is this seat taken?”
The young woman, about my age, already had her hands on the empty chair across from
me. For only the briefest second, I thought she wanted to sit there, but then she pulled towards
herself an inch to make clear the chair was going with her.
She was stunning. That was the only way to put it. Long rippling black hair that was
entirely wasted in this coffee shop—hair meant to be tumbling in the wind on a wild moor. Eyes
so bright and wide I could see myself reflected back, blinking stupidly. She wore a loose striped
t-shirt, jean capris, and ballet flats, all so effortless I felt clumsy and awkward just sitting there.
The only effortless thing in my life was split ends.
I had heard of
families that were divided
when the borders were drawn.
Imaginary lines that
became terrifyingly real
and put brother and brother and sister
in separate lands.
sometimes, we marvel at how fast we can run
but not get anywhere; how well we become a
period that puts a stop to nothing. wind-legged,
time vaults, we watch the gulls peck a name into
our bare chests. mother said this is the story of
how a home rejects anything with boobs in flying
colors: my sister knew instantly that she was not
home yet. what home wears his daughter sebum
HOT GIRL IS A STATE OF MIND
is what she shouts at me for the millionth time,
As I sit here crying over things I can’t change.
Sure, it’s pathetic.
Sure, it’s unproductive.
Sure, whatever you say, but…
Sometimes I spend the day wishing to be in the arms of someone else.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE HOT TO BE A HOT GIRL
is what they laugh at me, and sure,
It’s not my looks or gender or sexuality that’s
Holding me back but, but, but--
Beginning with a line from the Manchester Women’s Aid Pamphlet
on the Impact of Domestic Violence & Abuse on Children
Girls don’t become victims
just because they saw a parent
being abused. They become
victims by whatever colour
ignites a forest fire in California.
If the flare is pink, buy floral frills,
name her Daisy. Teach her how
to avoid being picked, woven
into a chain of missing girls
long enough to drape around
Venus. That’s where girls
are from. Otherworldly, headless
mannequins. All girls become
victims by age ten, take her
to H&M, watch her shrink
like the clothing options
available to her. Her dreams
obscured by a billboard
with Kylie Jenner’s face on.