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  • Untitled Document

    My Daughter

     

    My daughter will not be like her mother.

    Not silent, not docile, not shaking

    like the branches of trees

    stripped naked in the dead of Winter—

    by the greedy hands of a man,

    reaching,

    reaching until he finds the cold, wet remnants of a woman,

    shaking,

    shaking until Spring.

     

    My daughter will pack Mohammed Ali punches

    in her responses to the—

                Mami ven pa’ca, come ‘ere

                Lemme take you home with me,

                I promise you’ll like it—

    their gaze, the beginning of a violation

    she will know

    for the rest of her life.

     

    No, my daughter will throw Bruce Lee daggers

    into the pits of their stomachs

    with just a glance,

    lips pursed upward.

     

    Then, without speaking a word,

    she will claim her backbone,

    made of mango, guava,

    and the generations of women before her.

    She will conjure the thick, sticky, resilience

    that drips from her insides like honey. My daughter

    will be her mother’s wildest dream.

     

     

    ***


    Untitled Document

    Decolonization

     

    an image of you crossed my mind

    before i left miami.

    it was us, five years ago.

    you rested your head in my arms.

    i held your face like a baby,

    and me the mother figure you always longed for,

                                                                except not.

     

    we were at drum circle, sinking

                into

                            the

                                        sand

    at the beach on 93rd street and collins avenue.

    you were looking up at me and i smiled down to you.

    it was the only picture we ever took together,

                                                    we were beautiful.

     

    then, i saw the image of you and me, no longer an ‘us,’ three years ago.

    sneaky like the spanish conquistadores that stained your taino blood white,

    you excused yourself to the bathroom to call her.

    i knew that in the innermost sections of that bathroom stall,

    your words bounced

                                        off

                            of

                                        the

                            green

                                        tile

    walls at flanigan’s.

     

    you probably said something like,

    goodnight baby, i’m out with the guys after work.

    i’ll be home in a few hours.

     

    she would never imagine us

                                                    laying

    on the hood of your car that was parked

    on the roof of the abandoned parking garage,

    on 197th street and hallandale beach blvd,

    where my father taught me to drive.

     

    we didn’t talk for a few weeks.

    you probably felt guilty.

     

    thanksgiving day, she tagged you in a facebook photo.

    it was a sonogram,

    in it the image of a five-month old baby girl,

                                                    your baby girl.

     

    i congratulated you in a text.

     

    i still don’t know why you thanked me so

                                                                genuinely.

     

    maybe she was reading over your shoulder.

    maybe you forgot the way i fit into your arms that night,

    maybe you forgot the way i held you five years ago.

     

    i responded,

    wish you would’ve told me that before we met up two weeks ago.

     

    you told me i made it all up.

                the hood of your car,

                            the parking garage,

    the lies

                i gulped

    down

                with my drinks at flanigan’s.

     

    now, i’m grateful for that

                                        thanksgiving massacre

    because it

    pulled your deepest anchors out from inside of me,

    decolonized the most indigenous parts of Me.

     

     

    ***


    Untitled Document

    We’re Something Like the Stars

     

    Woven into the flag to compose the songs of our people with each stitch.

    To remind us we weren’t always free, but continue chained.

    To hide the faces of the women we’d become,

    dipping our tongues in the aftertaste of love and

    the simpler dreams of terra-cotta brick houses and a man to call home.

     

    We harmonize with the melodies that built Harlem,

    click-clack to the sugarcane jazz escaping the Cotton Club

    on Lenox that read, Whites Only, enforcing our talents

    held higher pitches than we did. We exhaled

    the color of our skin like smoke puffs from cigarettes.

     

    Streets ring with majestic hymns from the Apollo Theatre.

    Lines form down 125th, the lights radiate The First Lady of Song,

    spotlight the young doo-wop, create Motown soul,

    and most importantly, shine upon us everyday women.

    We produce songs with the sway of our hips as we walk down the block.

     

    Speakeasy beats of our literature whisper stories of a time

    where our voices were only heard in the low tones of a man.

    We couldn’t cascade down Spanish Harlem in old school boricua rhythms.

    Instead we danced to our tambores and timbales,

    we bugalu’d through our living rooms on east 116th.

     

    Caged Bird soars over 120th, searches for home

    at the tops of buildings buried in clouds,

    almost burns its wings as it grazes the sun, but never does.

    Only to have them clipped by a man finding solace

    somewhere between our thighs, but never between our ears.

     

    We plant our seeds in the land we have plowed alone,

    lure the moon down to us with the delicate trembling of our hips,

    and as night falls, we seize its light to foster our revolution.

     

    Women, we’ve always been something like the stars.

     

    About The Author

    Daniella Alejandra Diaz

    Daniella Diaz is a first-generation native-born Miami, Floridian to Venezuelan parents. She has been an avid writer for over twenty years. Ms. Diaz who is a nationally acclaimed Scholastic Gold Key Recipient in Poetry earned a B.A. in English at Florida International University. In addition to writing, she loves all things people and culture. Daniella completed a 27-month contract teaching English in South Africa with the Peace Corps. Currently, she is working on her debut novel as well as a collection of poetry. She also works as a freelance copy writer, content writer, screenwriter, editor, and proofreader.