Dear Stanford Rape Victim

Dear Stanford Rape Victim

You are not a victim
but a survivor.

Victims are paralyzed
survivors find strength
in the pain

You did not ask for this
but now you’re shining,
a lighthouse
to those who did not get
their day in court.

Using your voice
to testify against
injustice of class and privilege
not going quietly into the night
rape perpetrators need to live in fear
not us.

I read your story
with wet eyes,
as survivors
we are bonded
empathizing through the process

rape is rape

Rape can happen
behind dumpsters
with a stranger,
at college party
with a friend,
in your home
with a spouse,
at home with
a family member

regardless of circumstances

rape is rape.

20 minutes of action caused
irrevocable damage to you
the public to dissect
the worst experience of your life

But I can tell you that
slowly

you will feel your worth again
the nightmares will stop
you will feel safe
you will find intimacy
you will feel confident
most importantly,
your voice and power
have already been found.

You are not a victim,
you are surviving
and soon you will be
thriving.

Courage found in your vulnerability

soak up your own words,
you are beautiful
you are valued
you are respected
you are powerful

and I am with you.

2036

2036

goals you’ll have achieved

loving every centimeter
of your body
wholeheartedly
accepting it
having released expectations

the only hospital visits
were to deliver your babies

and those babies,
a reflection
of who you’ve become
loving
motivated
a force of change.

those babies are
growing up in a
home
that bustles.
Saturday mornings
are family meetings
held on the biggest bed

Keon, your husband
partner and supporter
always dancing in the kitchen
to a rhythm we can only hear.

Congratulations on helping
create and mainstream the
Spanish equivalent of Ms.

The world is now your classroom
because since the first lesson taught
it’s been the only thing
you’ve never questioned.
Unlocked levels
because this too is your art.

Your art
will be an experimentation
of mixing mediums
a mosaic of interests

You’ll have achieved
this all with the
help of yoga
your compass
that ignites
your heart.

Vision 

Vision 

Imagina una realidad 

Where indígenas 

are not reduced to 

Hunter gatherer 

Teepee dwellers. 
Estudiantes learning

More than just their role

in the 1600s.
The iconography 

Of the Cleveland

Indians

Redskins

ceased to exist

Rightfully 

Represented as

Living

First Nation people. 
English was not

the language of this land.
16,000 languages existed

and flourished,

Now only fossilized by

The names of places.
La solución es organización. 

Manor Ave.

Manor Ave.

For one summer
I was invincible,
Flying underneath
the trees.

A pink bicycle
was my wings,
three friends
sharing one joyride.

Learned how to fly
thanks to my ducks
Melissa & Kim

One block
in a one square mile
town
seemed like the world.

Tracks
encapsulated
by wet cement,
flanked by fireflies
held close by August nights

Days of smiling and shrieking
bellies full of slushies.

I never rode again.

For Sidra

For Sidra

Have you been watching
the news?

Repugnant to watch the hate
mongering that seems like
it’s here to stay.

People sharing superficial statuses
to show “support”
Soft bigotry and bullshit
stories about Starbucks
coffee being bought,
fluff stories
is new millennium caring.

Ignorance breeds Islamophobia
but if only there was
dialogue they’d understand
Islam teaches about a peaceful
way of life.

Insha’ Allah, we will
move past this.

Is your family’s experience
in Canada the same?

Stories of discrimination
surging because of women
wearing hijab or burkas.
I don’t understand how
modesty is seen as repressive.
Yet objectification and
oversexualization is considered
freedom.

I still get upset
when I think how we got
separated at U.S customs
coming back from Peru
sending you the small
interrogation room.

You, my example of
how to be a good person.
A true role model

I’ll be forever grateful
and honored to your friend.
My soul sister.

You will do great things.
This world needs you.

In solidarity and salam,
Yesenia

The Cathedral

The Cathedral

Take me to where
the Sultan of Swat
was king,
where 1918 chants
still echo.

A place that pulsated history
Legends were palpable
Take me to where
Gehrig stood on a mound
and said, “Today
I consider myself the luckiest
man on Earth.”
where a Captain
oh my Captain
was declared Mr. November.

Baseball’s Bronx Bombers
the 4 train ride
previewed the inside.
The bleacher seats
were comfortable
and congregation place
for creatures.

Families and friends
united
for America’s past time
Stadium traded in
for a plastic
second wife

Now demolished
but through
bittersweet memories
has life.