Takeaway

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
raped
feeling dirty
in a dress
on her wedding day,
foreshadowing my own
event.

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
misfortune.

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.

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Shallow/depths

I wish I could
be seen
inside
out

Maybe it’d be easier
to see the complexities

you would see
how much
I’m covered
in cobwebs
commonly known
as anxiety.

I have scars
inside
and out
You’d see
jagged wounds
that never properly
healed.
The outside is scarred
by neurosis,
I compulsively
pick
at anything
that doesn’t belong.
I scratch off scabs
I hate
the way they feel
and look,
rough
I pick
searching for new skin
to be seen.

I force myself
to embrace
my bare face
my version
of aversion therapy.
Last week
I wore my armor,
make up
But when I glazed
in the mirror
I didn’t recognize myself

I love my ninja turtle shirt
just as much as my maxi dress
love flip flops
just as much as stilettos
Neither defines me.

My imperfections
are magnified
in my eyes

and it’s always relative
you never appreciate
the present enough
till it’s the future

If I’m inside
out
you’ll see my fat
just hanging
in all it’s flabby
glory
not hidden
under black clothing
or
forgiving fabrics.

If only you’d see me
my muscle tendons
stringy like red yarn
instead of my
involuntary vanilla complexion,
my genes decided to arbitrarily
adhere to European
standards of beauty
without my permission
I’ve heard confessions
admiring my Casper complexion
“Todo te queda bien con tu piel”
Everything looks good with your
skin tone
admissions of colonized mentalities
“You don’t look Peruvian”
as if they had seen
all the millions of us
because when I walked around
in Lima
I saw a bunch of my clones,
my Peruvian people recognized
me as their own.
“You’re too pretty to be Peruvian”
Instantly degrading
devaluing Indigenous
and African beauty
which is my real make up
I’m sure my bones
have etched on them
the entire Andes mountain
range
and my heart
beats to the rhythm of el cajon.

I wish you could see me
as I see you
inside,out
all it takes
is a look of the eyes
The cliche holds true
The glaze of envy
that for your own sake
I hope is temporary
the narrow minded
the angry glint
of ignorance
but
I’m comforted when I meet
kindness
compassion
and general goodness.

I wish I was inside out
see my soul
the color it is
I’ve always been fond of pink
maybe the soul is the aura
of the heart

That’s the part of me
I really wish you could see
how vulnerable
and sensitive
it beats.