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A Year for Romance

My heart reads blank,

Veins dry of ink.

My story dreamed,

Is still a mystery.

I'm ever worried about telling

someone else's story


"Can a woman ever write

the true thoughts of a man?

Will I be able to show Sab's

soul on paper.”

I find I am in conversation with conflicts.

I find I am in conversation with poets.

Both are ways to fall in love.

“Romantic,” I say.

“Yes, Romance,” Gertrudis might nod her head

As she did her pen.

“No, no aliento ambción noble,

Como engañada imaginas,

De que en páginas de gloría

Mi humilde nombre se escriba. . .”

It's sunny,

though the sun does no good.

I would put on my new sunglasses

Except, the heat from my skin would fog

their darkness.

One question thumps.

“Can a free person

really understand one whose dreams

must fly up and soar

high about the depths of slavery?"

Anti-lock brakes against the ice.

Ten minutes into the drive

To the part time job

I took to have a full time life,

in which I get no traction.

Air warms slowly.

In an empty Diet Coke bottle,

It pops. Snaps. Lightning.

“Canto sin saber yo propia

Lo que el canto significa,

Y si al mundo que lo escucha,

Asombro o lástima inspira. . .”

Broken sunglasses still sit on the kitchen counter,

Frames and lenses next to the sink

Frames and lenses on top of the pieces of a metal colander.

They used to bump up and down

Over my head to Reggaeton.

They cracked on a day I thought my options

Had finally opened up.

They broke after, I had failed.

They broke before

I knew I had failed.

"Is my imagination enough,

or do I need to add the ways

in which I myself

have felt enslaved?"

I can’t tell if I am living

My story or my situation.

The air around me barely shows any difference.

Just a pop from the plastic.

I run across books in the library stacks

Without looking.

The pages are there

When I’m not.

They read

When I can’t see. Dreamer.

“Canto porque al cielo plugo

Darme el estro que me anima;

Como dio brillo a los astros,

Como dio al orbe armonías. . .

Canto poque hay en los seres

Sus condiciones precisas:

Corre el agua, vuela el ave,

Silba el viento, y el sol brilla. . .”

"No one speaks this way."

I was told.

But I do.

I speak this way.

And Margarita Engle speaks this way.

"I must be honest, writing myself

into the story, revealing

all my secrets."

And she reminded me

“Premiando nobles esfuerzos,

Sienes más heroicas ciña;

Que al cantar solo cumplo

La condición de mi vida. . ."

Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda spoke this way.

In text ripped apart,

I sew my heart back together.

It is a year,

For romance.


“Romance: Contestando a otro de una señorita” by Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda

“The Lightning Dreamer” by Margarita Engle

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