On Returning Home To Nana’s

a small hair sprouts

defying the odds

bursting through the surface

only to crinkle and bend

like palm trees in the wind

coconut oil eases the shaft

from root to ends

smooth, dipping my curls

into the Atlantic

becoming one with the island

and the wave

and the nappiness

of my kitchen

the way she might have as a child on family vacations

her thick black locs hang

like freedom

and nooses

and mangoes

strong and sweet as sugarcane

standing up

resisting gravity

and the box that bottles beauty

I Just Can’t

The cratered wrinkles have set deep under my eyes

they can’t disguise

this new found insecurity I have with beauty

I just can’t

glare at the mirror staring back

anticipating what you see

except my reflection

flat and imperfect is trapped in the glass

I just can’t 

there are earthquakes beneath my fingertips

why would you entrust your heart 

to someone whose hands shake

I’m trying my best to hold still for you



Struggling Roots

my coworker politely

and with hesitation


across continents

his hands outstretched

for my 

grabbable curly oh so unruly lovable

beauty of a kinked coiled hair

i didn’t make a statement

i wasn’t protesting

in truth, i was tired

the kind of tired that can sag into your skin

and soak up precious energy

tired of 

carefully descabbing the scorched scalp

so the blood flakes wouldn’t mar my fresh ‘do

three hours of yelling Dominican women

of avoiding water like acid

my angry kitchen wilting

tired of thinking that one day

my struggling roots would give up, 

fall out like milk teeth

tired of missing myself in the mirror.

This One Hair

this one hair is connected to the universe

this one hair forcing it’s way out of the back of my thigh

has unseen ties to the fabric of reality

this one hair back there is freaking me out

its coil is curling through space and time

i tried to shave it down but it grew back strong

i tried to pluck it and ended up unraveling ancient tapestries

it’s long and  thick

and perfectly isolated on an island of brown skin

i think the other day when i tugged at it, it growled at me

what hair is this

where did you even come from

did you escape from my nana’s mane or some other ancestry

if i destroy you will you bleed

or would the world unfold

little hair down there

tell me the secrets of dimensions and dark matter

let’s master creation together

since the length of your follicle i bet

is rooted at the foot of God’s kingdom

All That Is Me

untitled (2)all that is me
brown skin
thick hair
black mostly
beauty marks
mild stretch marks
chipped nails devoid of flattering polish
all that is me

With all that is me how can they love this
inch closer
closer teensy bit
crawl to the truth
that only i know its hard
not to love you


Orchids are ugly Orchids1 (3)

in the way that i bare me 

under pustules before blisters

is beauty


is any of this getting through clearly

i know that he knows that I’m pretty

doesn’t mean i feel it

i know i am naked as a peeled back onion

thousand hungry eyes

but only he sees me 

a sunflower in a field of roses 

i don’t want the recognition 



just want him to look at me