To my future daughter

I love you
and I hope
I showed
or spoke
those words to you
every day.

I’m 27 borderline 28
and you’re nowhere
on the horizon

Right now
I’ve been working
making the world
a little better
before you arrive

I know
I’ll have called
you a leader
more than
princess

You will play more
than house
unless it involves
how to build that
house.
You will be beautiful
from the inside
out

Strength is our legacy

You come from your
great great abuela Matilde
who was a feminist
before the term
even existed.

you come from
Aurora y Ortencia
Fairy tale abuelas
known for their love

Love is my superpower
and will be yours too
Love, to understand
love, to have patience
love so you can forgive
love because it’s the closest
thing to magic.

You come from your
bisabuela Laura
A single mother
in 1950s Peru
selling tamales to survive.
She cooked from the heart
and had magical pots
that made enough food
for everyone.

you come from your
bisabuela Angela
whose hips gave birth
to 12 children
Patient
Making all of their clothes
Passed early on
but immortalized
by naming almost every female
after her.

you come from your abuela
Angela
with unparalleled work ethnic
never greedy
taught me how to be giving
because there’s always someone
in a worse position

You also come from me,
when life hands me
tough at bats
I always swing for the fences

when you find yourself
in difficult positions
pause
be grateful
Take it as a compliment from God
because we are only given
what we can handle.

I’m 27 borderline 28
and I’m learning every day
how to be better
how to take the high road
and not stray.

I’ll always be in your corner
gently guiding
but I will tell you
when you’re wrong.
I will not judge your mistakes
because I love you already.

I think about the day
we finally meet
and hold you.

I aspire to be your role model
but you will have a great destiny
be my greatest legacy
I love you
and I don’t even know you
Mi hija,
live life fearlessly
don’t be intimated by
darkness
or heartbreaks
because you’re blessed
by God’s grace.

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

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.

Multilingual magic

Words in any language

Have never been a foe, 

Being able to code switch 

Makes it easy 

to travel the world. 

Never lost in 

Translation,

Easy to understand 

Global populations

A diplomat of sorts

Fixing misunderstanding

Is a Hero’s work. 

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.

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

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