We are not
inter race
but in fact

The Hudson River
causes a great divide,
the grass seemingly
on each

Battle lines drawn over
where we will reside

The Garden state
are where my roots
hailing from a
square mile town
summer spent at Seaside
feasting on
cheese steaks
pink cotton candy.

Him, a rare breed of
Native New Yorker
pumping with a
Harlem Heartbeat
A sage of subway shortcuts.

we are Inwood living
spacious apartment
high ceilings

The One train providing
a gentle serenade

Hearing bachata
y tipico
bursting from the streets
Seeking the Icee lady
and snacking on dollar empanadas

Working together
to build
our new home,
smells of fabuloso
and baked chicken.

Seeing Jersey
from Harlem’s Riverside
Finding subway grates
Marked Harrison, NJ
Campbell foundry made

My Garden state
is only three
heels click away.


Reality is richer
than fiction

I found the dress
I was raped in
and didn’t know
what to do with it.
I haven’t for years

You know the dress too,
Marilyn Monroe’s iconic
white dress
cooling herself
over a subway grate.
It happened on a Halloween
I was her
he was pimp
reality, richer than fiction.

The first poem
I ever wrote
was titled, “Dirty White”
written at 12
about a woman
feeling dirty
in a dress
on her wedding day,
foreshadowing my own

I’ve contemplated,
burning it
as if the fire
could burn away the memory,
I’ve thought about
giving it away
but fearful that
it will be someone else’s

I’ve thought about
washing and wearing it
a bizarre testament
that I’ve healed
then dread washes over me
like unexpected rain
that it will happen again.

Marilyn and I are bonded
insight into
a polarizing figure
the sadness behind her eyes
the madness that consumed her
but shines effortlessly on screen
Impossible to look away from
her reality greater than fiction.

I’ve thought about
my experiences
Trying to justify
Find reasoning
Accepted that I’m given what
I can handle.
My poetic purpose interpreting
reality richer than fiction.