i am latina and i live

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT OF SUICIDE

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT OF SUICIDE

THIS MEANS

I

AM

A

LATINA

THAT

HAS

THOUGHT

ABOUT

KILLING

HERSELF

BREATHE THIS IN WITH ME

I

HAVE

THOUGHT

ABOUT

TAKING

MYSELF

TO

THE

END

and i wished it to be so

look me in the eyes

and think about what you see, think about what you see, what you see,

what do you see

i am nothing most days in the street

i am nothing

i am no one in these new york city streets

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT KILLING HERSELF

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT KILLING HERSELF

i am not sofia vergara

i am not sofia vergara

i am not jennifer lopez

i am not jennifer lopez

am i latina?

am i?

what am i?

the dark comes to me on subway trains

i am awake rumbling home, i am alone.

i am alone

i live inside of the subway, i am afraid in my home

there is no one to catch my tears there is only someone who wipes them away once they’ve settled into the cracks and into the shit on the floor of the subway car

there is only that person who sweeps them into a bag of hot cheetos and dumps them into a black canister and this person wishes for a better life

one without my tears, one without everyones shit on the floor

but they don’t see me either

they don’t see me either

i am always on edge, i am always on a ten even when i could be a seven

no, i do not work here

no, i do not work here

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT SUICIDE

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT SUICIDE

PLEASE LOOK AT ME

PLEASE LOOK AT ME

PLEASE SEE ME

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

WHY DO I HAVE TO ASK SO NICELY?

when i don’t smile you are afraid

i am that latina girl at your white job, that is me, i am she and when she doesn’t smile you are afraid and you don’t know how to say it but she knows you are afraid cuz you are afraid because when she is tired she isn’t pleasing you, when i am tired i am not pleasing you and you are afraid and you are afraid

and you make me so so tired

so tired

so tired

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT KILLING HERSELF

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT KILLING HERSELF

PLEASE LOOK AT ME

PLEASE LOOK AT ME

i am not cleaning your house, my mother is not cleaning your house, my grandma isn’t cleaning your house but you make more money than me, and you make more money than my mother and you make more money than my grandma and your money comes from them and your money comes from me and i don’t know how to fix it and i wish i could just fix it

still i am invisible unless i crack and snap and pop and lock, still i am invisible unless i crack and snap and pop and lock and make you laugh and make you feel better about your gentrification and make you feel better about your objectification and make you feel better about your colonization and make you feel better, feel better

because when i don’t smile you are afraid

when i don’t smile you are afraid

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT SUICIDE

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT SUICIDE

I AM LATINA THAT GOT TATTOOS TO COVER UP THE TIMES I SLICED MYSELF UP WITH A BUTTERFLY KNIFE TO FIND MY WAY OUT OF THIS COCOON

I AM A LATINA THAT GOT TATTOOS TO COVER UP THE TIMES I SLICED MYSELF UP WITH A BUTTERFLY KNIFE TO FIND MY WAY OUT OF THIS COCOON.

did you know that? bet you didn’t know that. how could you know that? what do you see when you see me? bet you don’t see the butterfly wings bet you don’t see that carcass of skin beneath my thick hips, bet you don’t see where i crawled out of the ground, bet you don’t see my birth, bet you don’t see that i was born,

bet you don’t, bet you don’t

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT THE END

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS THOUGHT ABOUT THE END

who has wanted so bad to be george bailey to lose hope on life and the world, to see how it doesn’t matter whether i live or die or had a wonderful life, who has wanted to stand on the edge a bridge and wait to see if an angel comes to me to show me my importance to say hey stay, to say hey fight, to say hey we need you, i am waiting, i am waiting, i wait. i wait for my movie ending. i wait for an angel to gets its wings because of me

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS NOT KILLED HERSELF

I AM A LATINA THAT HAS NOT KILLED HERSELF

i believe in the spiritual movements in the universe. i believe that my energy influences yours. i believe that spiritual violence lives in the air, i believe that we breathe it into our lungs and it finds itself in our dreams, i believe that whatever we put out affects those around us. i believe that you are drowning with me, that you are soaring with me, that you are standing on the edge of the bridge w me and we are holding hands, we are holding hands because if you’re not holding my hand then you are ready to push me off and i can’t believe that about you, i can’t believe that about you. i won’t believe that about you.

I AM A LATINA AND I LIVE

I AM A LATINA AND I LIVE

AND I AM ALIVE AND I KEEP ON LIVING

and you stand besides me because where else would you go because we share a blood line and a history and if it weren’t for your people and we are black people and we are brown people and we are mixed and we are yellow and mestiza and i belong to you and i belong to you and we are family, and our blood is red and some of my people belong to your bloodline and it’s a bloody mess isn’t it, but we’re all still here and this is my church and we are in worship and i honor you and i honor you and i honor and we will weep together and we will weep and i am weeping

AND I LIVE

AND I LIVE

AND I LIVE

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notes to self

write down flashes of dreams on crumbled receipts found in pockets, just to get it down because it might come in handy one day for that story or just because.

dreams are important

scribble the lines of poems that sound better in your head. write them down anyway because you have to at least try to aim as high as your subconscious, right?

swap sci-fi stories over bottles of craft beer in washington heights apartments owned by fly dominicanas because there’s nothing else worth doing.

eat three day old pizza with the television on mute while blogging in your pajamas because it’s wednesday and you’re doing just fine.

call your brother.

and leave a voicemail and then text him all of the hearts and pick the fuck up when he calls back.

know when to end a conversation because you need to take a nap and that nap will serve you better than pretending to listen in between yawns.

the person on the other end deserves better anyway.

count your pennies and put them in a fucking jar.

split up the dollar bills in your pocket. one for you. one for the mariachi band performing on the A train. one for you. one for the young black man reading poetry on the 2 train. one for you. one for the old woman begging on the corner and if you got a spare, give her that one too.

if your mom is still alive, kiss her on the cheek and make sure it makes a sound. cuz she’ll laugh and you need her laugh more than you think you do.

put milk and sugar in your coffee and add some cinnamon or put nothing in it and revel in the shimmer of its blackness. you’re a badass motherfucker, drinking your beautiful black coffee.

write down all of your fears, all the ones that keep you from doing the things you love. say them outloud, over and over again until none of them make sense, until you can cross them out and throw them away and know that when they rise up, you’ll be able to spit them out of your mouth and be ok.

put your phone away and sit in the dark.

water the plant that’s dying on your windowsill. sing to it and apologize for being a bad plant mother.

take a goddamn shower.

rub lotion on your ass and hips and breasts. ashy nipples are no fun. ashy nipples will hurt someone.

laugh at your own joke. laugh hard and wet yourself a little because you’re worth it.

keep her in bed with you for twenty more minutes. make sure to kiss along the curves of her skin and bones. turn off her alarm and ask for fifteen more minutes until you’ve watched the sun rise and set along her ribcage, until she’s fallen back to sleep in your arms as the clouds roll away from her forehead, until you’re sure that she knows how much you love her.

make sure her alarm is set for the right time tomorrow.

don’t ask anybody for a damn thing today.

put on a clean pair of socks. warm socks. socks that make your whole body feel safe and ready. you have this pair of socks somewhere. they’re the ones with the sharks on them.

do not respond to foolishness.

contents under pressure: release valve and breathe, baby, breathe.

i’m trying to be good to myself. i tend to stack freight cars of pressure onto my back in order to terrorize myself into being productive. it’s worked in the past, especially when i drank more and partied more because i could swallow all of that pressure and anxiety down my throat, chase it with a lime and a beer and call it a night.

now that i have better coping skills, skills that i’m working on every single day, skills that a village of beautiful queers and writers and a girlfriend and a mom and a therapist and all the people who love me have helped sharpen- i find that weighing myself down with the weight of the earth isn’t helpful. in fact, it produces massive anxiety attacks and sleepless wretched nights. all i can sputter out are ‘shoulds’ and ‘why haven’t i’ and ‘ i need to be’ and ‘i’m failing’ over and over again. and i can’t breathe and i’m swallowing mouthfuls of salt water and holy shit, will i survive this?

it’s just too much. it’s unnecessary. which is a word that i’m always spelling wrong, jesus take the wheel and drive us both off this cliff. or maybe just take the wheel and drive us to mcdonalds so i can get some french fries and a toy and we can watch the stars light up the parking lot. how’s that? sound good to you, Jesus? good, let’s talk about therapy and coping and writing.

i gave my therapist a list of things i wanted to get done in my two days off. she looked at it and said that I had enough things on that list to cover two weeks. feeling hyped and ready, i told her i was just excited to be off of work and had a lot i wanted to do. we sat in silence with the list between us. i thought about all the other times i’d created such tremendous, over-stuffed thanksgiving dinner type of lists and how i’d crumble a bit when most of it didn’t get done. like as if i just wasn’t hustling hard enough and never would and it would spiral into all the reasons i’m not enough.

so we sat with the list between us some more, in that good silence that you have with your favorite elder or a solid therapist, and the sun poured in through the massive windows in her office and some dudes wiped the windows clean and we watched the city move all around itself.

i don’t need to do all of these things in two days. i’m going to pick the things that are manageable, that will be fun for me, that will enable me to love myself and guide me into the next week, the next day, the next hour. i will do no more than that. i will above all else, above this list, i will be kind to myself.

she smiled and said that being kind to myself sounded like the best thing I could do with two days off.

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21296-you-alone-are-enough-you-have-nothing-to-prove-to-anybody

writing in this space is how I’m kind to myself. i’m practicing my craft – yup i said it, if i’m gonna call myself a writer then i have to fucking write- and I’m dissecting all the emotional shit going on in my life. i’m learning how to name my emotions without placing blame on other people.

and people reach out when i talk about this vulnerable shit. and i need that too. not the attention of it, but the palm to palm solidarity. it’s ok to just write about myself and the things going on around me that are like little m-80s popping off on the block causing me to jump and duck and cover. that here in this space i don’t have to be a political identity or a cultural representation of an entire group of other people who may share similar skin color and bedfellows. ya know?

and i don’t have to keep up with the news cycle of the internet because it’s exhausting. there are many other writers of color out there struggling with that very thing: how the fuck do we keep up? y’all want me to write for free or for an appreciated but small fee about all these things happening every five seconds and like i can’t even process my own shit that quickly let alone some huge national story and all i’m going to turn in are lines and lines of my immediate reaction which is probably mad shortsighted and fuck all this, i’m going to binge watch American Horror Story: Coven.

so many of us are exhausted by the constant stream of violence against people of color on our feeds anyway, imagine having to churn out substantial writings on all of those instances every day. i think if i wrote a blog about how many people of color the police have killed in the united states since last thanksgiving, i’d be so emotionally and spiritually drained that i wouldn’t know how to function. and maybe that’s not my purpose and that’s ok too because someone is out there writing that blog and they are committed to it and it’s their passion, their fight for justice and the revolution and they’re sharing it with us and i don’t have to be that person.

all i can be is my weird little self.

and do i really need to be the one that writes about Katy Perry’s appropriating boring ass? do i need to be the one writing about how some other white artist stole beyoncenickirihannaellafitzgeraldritamorenogloriaestefanselenas style? i’d rather not waste the energy. that’s my energy. i don’t knock other people writing about that shit because i love to read that shit and it’s important for us to dissect these images and reframe them with our ancestors at the center. i will reblog and share your posts til the break a break of dawn but i don’t need to pressure myself to be the one who writes about everything our thirsty ass society has deemed important. like taylor swift. like fuck that.

and again, no one is asking me to do that, to care about all of those things, i don’t think, but this is pressure that i put on myself. i think ‘shit, if i’m not writing about this very important thing that just happened then i’m letting my community down, i’m not being that brown voice in a sea of whiteness that sends out the brown bat signal to all the other brown queers that we are here and hey, hi, hello, it’s me and i’m reaching out and sharing these feelings with you, and oh my god, if i’m not that person then who will be and am i letting everyone down again? i need to write all the things.

should be that person. right?

and the flip side of that is ‘who the fuck do i think i am to even think my words are of any importance’? there’s that beast too…

some of the anxiety i’ve felt with keeping this blog updated is that i ‘should’ be writing about X, like I have to write about police brutality. i have to write about anti-blackness. i have to write about colorism in the latino community. i have to write about fat-shaming and i have to and i have to and i just can’t and i shouldn’t and one of the major things my therapist checks me on is my use of the word should.

fuck should.

fuck that pressure to explain everything all of the time because i’m brown and queer and poor and fat and and and and…

it’s totally ok to write about just being fucking sad because i am a human being.

it’s totally ok to write about how much i fucking love un-frosted strawberry pop-tarts.

it’s totally ok to write about the fact that i hate having sex dreams about men because i feel like my brain wasted an entire night’s worth of dreaming when i could have been happily finger banging nicki minaj instead.

it’s ok to write about how i think rosario dawson is one of the most underrated actresses of our generation and could we just cast her in everything that people put jennifer lawrence in? or could they just be in a movie together where they fight evil white dudes while driving fast cars and falling wrecklessly in love with each other?

you know?

it’s ok.

and the other night, I couldn’t sleep and so I was scrolling through tumblr like it was my job and came across the words of Ngọc Loan Tran and everything around me stopped. I was meant to read these words and here they are for you to inhale:

for queer brown writers

who sometimes feel that their words only mean something to them

who – out of self doubt and self consciousness – seek to copy and mirror because they are convinced they cannot create for themselves

who write about what others write about and what they have written is not read in the same way

who stop writing for months or years on end because it is scary to create and feel like no one is there to receive it

who write about deeply personal, intimate, private things and are asked then to make it “political” or about “the revolution” when writing to write for ourselves, for our peoples is revolutionary in and of itself

who write academically when our heart carries more to write about our feelings, identity, and experience

who are not marketable or consumable but when we are writing about self for self we are demanded to write for others

i see you. the power of your words are valid. you, more than anyone, know why you write. and always remember that it is our peoples who have carried themselves through letters through wartime, through movement, through migration. it is our peoples’ writing, it is our writing that has transcended and molded history, broken borders and pierce through time zones. your words are readable. your words are yours. you are enough.

********************************************************************************************************************************************************

i reblogged their words. i reread their words. i fell in love with their words. i needed to read them, see them, and pull them deep into the chambers of my beautiful brown beating heart.

“writing for ourselves, for our peoples is revolutionary in and of itself”

holy shit. i’ve read that line multiple times and every time i’m struck by the enormity of it, by how simple and beautiful and powerful it is. and that it’s at once gentle permission to be free and a reminder that we’re connected in acts of self-care and self-love and those acts are what create community and build upon ancestry and lead to actions that benefit all of us.

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i will be kind to myself.

i will be kind to myself.

i am kind to myself.

i am kind to myself.

i write. i write. i write.

i share.

i read.

i am revolution.

for me. for us. por vida.

we are revolution.

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