corre niña

November 30, 2010

corre. tiempo. corre.

asi como tus piernitas
cuando eras niña.

(rapidito)

te corria por toda
la casa.
y tu risa -a carcajadas-
jugaba al esconder
con mis pupilas.

jugar contigo
era mi pasatiempo favorito.
las horas junto a ti
las queria detener.

queria vivir
en la casa de sabanas
de la alegria de tu sonrisa.

el tiempo
pasa tan rapido.
me dejas con mas deseos
de tu niñez.

y es que juegas
al topao’ con mis emociones.
como quien dice
“ahora me toca a mi.”

dices que tienes
un angel en tu vientre.
y yo tratando de cuidar
tus alas…
se me olvida que las tuya son para volar.

vuela mi princesa.

siempre. seguiras siendo el amor de mis amores.
aquel primer angel que me hizo creer en la existencia de dios.

y ahora…
me preparo para correr
tras la niña de tus ojos.
en los mios queda tu mirada de niña.
segura que la encontrare en ella al igual.

sonrisa de tu sonrisa.
debe ser alegria abundante.

~Sarahí Yajaira. 2010 ©

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buttons and a zipper

November 27, 2010

that little girl…
she was happy!

full of life
and laughter.
never said
“i’m bored.”

her imagination
took her around the world
into other worlds;
created worlds
where love was law.

she painted life
on concrete canvasses.
made cash registers
outta’ shoe boxes
and you paid her in buttons.

in puerto rico,
when it rained,
she’d make pasteles de lodo
wrapped in newspaper.
then sold them for
one tree leaf.

her imaginary friend
was real.
as real as the love
she gave wrapped in
mary jane kisses.

her energy was high.
her spirit
danced in the rain.
the sound of her laughter
could melt mr. softee popsicles
on any new york city summer’s day.

she loved to hang
with her cousins.
wanted nothing
to do with the color pink.

the streets
wanted to play
with her.
you found her
hanging on monkey bars.
jumping fences. at the handball court.
playing hoops. runnin’ ‘round the bases.
tryin’ to slide safe into home…

nothing took
her happiness away.
she was always
smiling.

except that one day her smile faded…

that day he unzipped
his pants.

she never said anything.
kept her silence. years later
all she said was, “guard your daughters.”

before that day
she confessed what happened,
she was always smiling.
you woulda’ never known
she carried that around.

today i talked to the little girl.
she said she doesn’t want to
smile or laugh…

“not enough buttons
to buy back that day,” she said.

today
…that little girl cries.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010 ©

brewing possibilities

November 22, 2010

pick.
grade.
grind.

percolate.
steep.
press.

slow roast
in boiling water.
give it heat.

filter.
extract
oil and essence
from sediment.

the slower the drip
the stronger the coffee.

brewing…

mug in hand
waiting to be filled.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010

undressing words

November 17, 2010

you want to know
the meaning of
my words.

you want them:

raw.
naked.

you want them.

i’ve never dressed poetry.
it is. simple.
beautiful.
truth.

it is raw.

deconstruct me.

my nouns are real
people, places and things.
my adjectives describe
the world through my eyes.

i am an imperfect preterite in the present tense.

i am words.
spoken.
whispered.
silenced.

go ahead.
undress my naked words.
underneath my skin
you will find a heart
that beats in
iambic pentameters.

conjugate the word “be.”

i am.

i am the words
as raw and real
as your anticipation to read
the next poem i will write.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010 ©

sanat

November 15, 2010

sweetness in a voice…

healing.
soothing.

like the softest gauze
your words
gently on these cuts.
you weave in and out of me
stitching wounds.

…then offer to kiss the scars.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010

Writer’s Note: sanat is Latin for she heals.

“If you want to understand any woman you must first ask about her mother and listen carefully… Wistful silences demonstrate unfinished business.  The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life–without flinching or whining-the stronger the daughter.”
~The Red Tent, Anita Diamant

I wanted to think that my queerness was the reason my mother and I were not connected.  I thought that would be much “simpler” to get through, than say, the history of the known and unknown.  But the more I kept learning new information, recalling memories and looking at pictures, the more I realized that our disconnection took place long before that day I told her that I was a lesbian.

I believe the umbilical cord strangled this relationship… and though I am not exactly sure when it happened, I know it happened before my birth.

One of the main functions of the umbilical cord is to provide oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.  The umbilical cord is the strongest and most important connection.  Its function continues long after the moment it is cut at birth.  It has this power to pull you back, tug at your heart, and yes, even cut the air right outta’ you.  And when I was born, I believe I cried because I was relieved to get out; because Mami was feeding me her heavy spirit and the oxygen was intoxicating.  This might also explain why I was born six weeks early.

My mother and I have remained connected throughout our entire disconnection.  There are some connections that could never be broken, even in the worst of circumstances.  My mother and I share that connection strongly.  We have struggled through it and because of that struggle; it has become one of the most intense relationships in our lives.

This book is written with one purpose: healing.

We must both accept that we had no control over the events that happened, that we made decisions based on what we felt were the “best” choices at the time and that there was never intent to hurt each other.

Let these words remind her that she is my first Love.  And that has made all the difference in my life.

~Sarahí Almonte, 2010 ©

a letter to love

November 12, 2010

love,

when you come home
this is what a need from you…

i need you to be patient.
with you. with me. with us.
you should come dressed in comfort.
nothing flashy
–simplicity catches my eye with ease.

come with a gentle spirit.
speak softly. hold me gently.
you will have my attention
if you can get at my intellect
and my spirit.

trust.
don’t hold me accountable
for what others have done to you.
i still believe in you
amidst the heartaches
loving has caused.

grow.
feed the spirit of us.
nurture the soul of what we have
with letters, flowers, music…
details add fuel to the fire.
love must burn.

rest.
on a lazy sunday
wrapped in me.
recharge our souls
with peace.

fight.
want to want to it.
need to have it.
fight to make sure we continue
to love “for better or for worse.”

and finally, please,
come home for good.

stay.

(i left the light on for you).

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010

i used to be a latina

November 10, 2010

i used to be a latina
then i became a lesbian.

it takes some time, you know?
to reconcile…and stay a while
with that thought:

i am a latina lesbian
i am a latina lesbian
i am a latina lesbian

i have to say it out loud every day because the two seem so antonymous to each other.
like they’re always fighting, always at odds… como aceite y vinagre, oiste’?

latina.

lesbian.

you hear it all the time.  “you are not living up to your latina expectations sen~orita.
you are a lesbiana.  you are the absolute fall of all that is latina.
you have roles to play.  you have expectations to meet.
you’ve broken the first of the latina commandments, “you shall never love your women, more than you love your men.”

sometimes it’s heavy.  like cuarenta libras de platanos.
an internal tug of war between thousand-year-old expectations and… me.

shame creeps up, as my self knows better than to believe in this mierda they keep feeding us… i walk around carrying my ancestor’s guilt tattooed to my skin with indelible ink that tries to poison my spirits.
my lesbian self tries to make nice with my latinidad.  she brings her an olive branch of love and acceptance.  but this latina is so resistant to accept what seems to come so naturally to her.  she tries to fight it.  pushing and pulling.  shoving and holding. son un~a y carne…they are intertwined, interconnected and interdependent.

and so i sit with it.  and get to know it.  and take it out for dinner.  and hold the door for it.  and walk with it… until i can enunciate it, “la-ti-na-les-bi-an.”  and then i let it go.

i let it go… to set me free.

and it is at that moment that i embrace my truth:

i am a latina lesbian.

one does not negate the other.  they do not subject each other to a less than place… no.  the two, bailan un son.  as they embrace each other and dance to the rhythm of truth.

and it is not that latina lesbian defines what i am, it is that it celebrates something greater than me. it celebrates the struggle of two historically oppressed communities, where silence, and anger and hurt took place but where love still prevails. it celebrates a beautiful herstory of too many lifetimes left untold,

yo soy el eco de mil batallas internas.
la nostalgia de mujeres que se amaron en silencio.
yo soy un intento a la libertad,
un grito a la autonomia.
que por ser lesbiana y ser Latina
yo soy el, “que diran?”
yo soy el sudor de tu frente en accion..
la que pelea batallas externas
reclama su libertad
y segura de si misma, celebra su verdad.

yes, i am a latina lesbian.

this is not a choice… it is my hearts beat.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2008 ©

love rises

November 2, 2010

it’s cold.

a premature death.
lifeless.
a body walks.

going through the motions
without emotions.

i would steal the air
from the soul of the earth
just to breathe life
into love again.

let my poetic beat
de fibrillate
the heart.

love cannot die
on the eve of eternity.

there can be no flatline
on a contoured feeling
that outlines
the quintessence
of the soul.

i am.
i love.
i am love.

love rises.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010