spanish girls

in midwestern diners, they order horchata, frijoles, y arroz
and squeeze their watermelon hips on red, plastic stools
while waiters savor their flavorful accents
dripping of rumored mojitos, tequila, y piña colada.

onlookers whisper, they’re spanish girls
and listen to the humming of tenochtitlan in their voices.
where are you ladies from? waiters ask, and
they don’t say spain.

old palm tree leaves, tangy cocktails, juanas y marias
la rojigualda

brand their faces, despite the taste of
other earths on their tongues, spurting with everything
but the lives of spanish girls.

word vomit ⎮ the body, the soul, & spirituality

Lately I’ve been reading a couple of books, one of them being Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La frontera: The New Mestiza. In short, the author discusses her experience being in the middle of the U.S. and Mexican culture. She touches on several different topics, such as Aztec history, spirituality, and language. It’s a great read if you’re interested in Chicana or Women’s Studies. However, me asking you to read her book isn’t the point of this post. I have been thinking about one of her ideas. She left me with so questions after reading this paragraph:

[Some] religions encourage fear and distrust of life and of the body; they encourage a spilt between the body and the spirit and totally ignore the soul; they encourage us to kill off parts of ourselves. We are taught that the body is an ignorant animal; intelligence dwells only in the head. But the body is smart. It does not discern between external stimuli and stimuli from the imagination. It reacts equally viscerally to events from the imagination as it does to ‘real’ events. (Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La frontera: The New Mestiza, pages 37-38)

All my life, I have been taught that my body is nothing more than a vessel that my spirit will leave once it can no longer hold me. This idea comforted me. I’ve always told myself to fear nothing because my body will be what’s damaged and not my soul. My body will be the part of me rotting in the ground while my spirit soars throughout space and time, interacting with other energies. Now that I am intrigued by this new possibility, the comfort I felt before is fading. If my body and my spirit are linked, and not as separate as I think…if my body is damaged, will my spirit be affected? If my spirit is low, will my body be?

I like the concept that Anzaldúa presents: the notion that the body is more than a vessel, that our bodies and spirits are joined in some way. Perhaps our bodies teach our souls a few things, and our souls teach our bodies a few others—an exchange of thought, feelings, realities. Now that I’ve had more time to think about it, it isn’t a bad thing that our bodies and souls are intertwined. If my body is healthy, my spirit would be too; if my body is hurting, my spirit would learn to heal; if my spirit is sad, my body would express it. This quote has described the importance of taking care of the two, seeing them as a team instead of being separate entities. I like it.

I also agree with Anzaldúa in that the body isn’t an uneducated, oblivious creature. It recognizes the realities we experience (from the common reality we all share to things that are otherworldly). Some of us feel a cold air, goosebumps, or our heart stops; it’s our body signaling a strange occurrence to our minds, our souls. Our souls and bodies work in conjunction. It is not only the spirit that experiences our lives, but our body as well, and vice versa.

This may all seem like common sense. But to me, it’s something I’ve just discovered a few days ago and it clicked. I love reading/hearing different perspectives regarding spirituality, and at the moment, I enjoy this idea that Anzaldúa introduces.

what’s in a name

i don’t understand why my mother gave me a second name if there isn’t an occasion to use it. no one ever says my middle name. or asks for it. i wish they did, though. i love my middle name. i think of a warrior who rides on a black stallion while lifting her bejeweled sword in the air, ready for battle. she’s ready to fight for her people, her thought, and her heart. she’s ready to fight for herself. in my second name, i hear her battle cry.

alexandra. it sounds like water crashing into boulders at the bottom of a waterfall. it sounds strong. fierce.

unlike my second name, my first name is much smoother, like the fur of a fluffy rabbit. it sounds light and cute. sort of like the name of a bubblegum-pink lipstick. the kind of lipstick that makes your lips look soft, pouty, and shiny. it even smells like that pale pink cotton candy they sell at carnivals. sweet and delicious.

a street vendor blows a stream bubbles with his plastic bubble gun on the paths of parents walking with their children. the bubbles, whose direction is steered by the breeze, remind me of my first name. julie.

 

note: i felt inspired to write what i thought about my names when i read Sandra Cisneros’ book, The House on Mango Street. in the book, there is a chapter where the protagonist describes her name using images, tastes, and scents—and i thought it would be interesting for me to do the same. what image does your name paint for you? i’m interested to know. 🙂

beast

i met a beast
who had fur that looked and felt like tree bark. rough,
raw, and broken.
its eyes
seemed like dull pebbles. so small, so unbreakable.
when it ate, it only ate dead things,
recycling limp rabbits and stiff gerbils in its stomach.
its gaze, heavy and studious
prickled my skin, rose my arm hairs.
i ran away.

i met a man
whose words i ate
like cold watermelon slices on a hot, august day.
he worked long hours at his 8am-5pm office,
cracking his knuckles as he typed in his small, unorganized cubicle.
this man looked like the man in the white, pale cubicle next to him
and like the man in the cubicle after that
and the one after that.
this man
pissed on his neighbor’s bushes
purposefully shat all over the toilet, his bathroom’s white linoleum floor
and touched himself in front of his children
who he didn’t think noticed.

i saw the beast again
under a streetlight, on a Wednesday night.
it looked alone, sad?, aloof.
i didn’t think
it should have been the one
alone.

a dreamy dance

I am a goddess covered in silver lilies

Who dances beneath the moon with fireflies

I paint my lips with the blood of fallen angels

And adorn my hair with the river’s shells;

I eat nebulae in the sky while slashing oceans into rivers;

Sometimes, I kiss the rose-gold unicorns and silver ivy

While tracing silver spells onto Aequorea Victoria.