Let’s share one last poem for National Poetry Month. This one was the Poem-A-Day offering for April 27, and it stuck with me so I thought I’d share it with you.
All of Us
Every day I am born like this—
No chingues. Nothing happens
for the first time. Not the neon
sign that says vacant, not the men
nor the jackals who resemble them.
I take my bones inscribed by those
who came before, and learn
to court myself under a violence
of stars. I prefer to become demon,
what their eyes cannot. Half of me
is beautiful, half of me is a promise
filled with the quietest places.
Every day I pray like a dog
in the mirror and relish the crux
of my hurt. We know Lilith ate
the bones of her enemies. We know
a bitch learns to love her own ghost.
About This Poem
“This poem comes from anger and how one can use it to cultivate resistance. As I continued to revise, I realized that I was also writing about the #MeToo movement, what it means to be a woman in this culture. How do we cope with the violence we inherit?”
—Erika L. Sánchez
Erika L. Sánchez is the author of the poetry collection Lessons on Expulsion (Graywolf Press, 2017). She is a Princeton Arts Fellow and lives in Plainsboro, New Jersey.