Discovery Reading and Poem in Boston Review

I’m so honored to have been chosen along with such talented women for the Discovery/”Boston Review” Contest. Here are two pictures from that incredible night as well as my poem published in the Boston Review.

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Julia Guez, Eileen Myles, Raena Shirali, Timothy Donnelly, Erika L Sánchez and Catherine Blauvelt

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Quinceañera

Summer boredom flutters its
sticky wings. You guzzle
cooking wine, gag on the old whiskey
you find in the pantry.
In the warmth of your bedroom,
you pierce your navel
with a safety pin, slice
the skin you hide beneath
your billowy dresses. Glitter-eyed
in the murky dance clubs,
you snort blow until the dregs
trickle down your throat and
shock your sluggish heart.
You dance in the frenetic
lights, the untz untz vibrating
your face and skull until
morning. But everywhere,
the pain suckles you. Everywhere,
you hold its lumpy head to your breast
like a saint. A fat man in a basement
tattoos a scraggly moon
on your hip, anything to smother
the soft and constant vertigo, to stitch
a spirit so riddled with leeches.
Some evenings you brim
with the sky’s quiet bruising—
colors as beautiful as the spilled
brains of a bird. Such a fucked
holiness, you think. Weeping,
you read Walt Whitman—the blow,
the quick loud word,
the tight bargain, the crafty
lure. You hold a mirror to study
your tender socket. May we eat
and drink in remembrance
of the body. Oh how the salt sings.
One morning you cut your hair
slowly then shear it altogether.
Whether that which appears
so is so, or is it all flashes
and specks? In that slurry
of August, the silence climbs you
like a man until you hear
the meaty flaps of God inside you.

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