Dulzura

January 7, 2020

Make love to me in Spanish.
Not with that other tongue.
I want you juntito a mi,
tender like the language
crooned to babies.
I want to be that
lullabied, mi bien
querido, that loved.
I want you inside
the mouth of my heart,
inside the harp of my wrists,
the sweet meat of the mango,
in the gold that dangles
from my ears and neck.
Say my name. Say it.
The way it’s supposed to be said.
I want to know that I knew you
even before I knew you.

Sandra Cisneros

I’m a witch woman – high on tobacco and holy water. I’m a woman delighted with her disasters. They give me something to do. A profession of sorts…I have the magic of words. The power to charm and kill at will.

Sandra Cisneros
FaceBook post Aug 10, 2010

My Name

June 4, 2019

In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy colour. It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, song like sobbing.

It was my great-grandmother’s name and now it is mine. She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse – which is supposed to be bad luck if you’re born female-but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexican, don’t like their women strong.

My great-grandmother. I would’ve liked to have known her, a wild horse of a woman, so wild she wouldn’t marry. Until my great-grandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off. Just like that, as if she were a fancy chandelier. That’s the way he did it. And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn’t be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but don’t want to inherit her place by the window.

At school they say my name funny as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth. But in Spanish my name is made out of a softer something, like silver, not quite as thick as sister’s name – Magdalena – which is uglier than mine. Magdalena who at least can come home and become Nenny. But I am always Esperanza.

I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees. Esperanza as Lisandra or Maritza or Zeze the X. Yes. Something like Zeze the X will do.

Sandra Cisneros
The House On Mango Street

Down There

May 14, 2019

Yes,
I want to talk at length about Men-
struation. Or my period.
Or the rag as you so lovingly put it.
All right then.

I’d like to mention my rag time.

Gelatinous. Steamy
and lovely to the light to look at
like a good glass of burgundy. Suddenly
I’m an artist each month.
The star inside this like a ruby.
Fascinating bits of sticky
I-don’t-know-what-stuff.
The afterbirth without the birth.
The gobs of a strawberry jam.
Membrane stretchy like
saliva in your hand.
It’s important you feel its slickness,
understand the texture isn’t bloody at all.
That you don’t gush
between the legs. Rather,
it unravels itself like string
from some deep deep center –
like a Russian subatomic submarine,
or better, like a mad Karlov cackling
behind beakers and blooping spirals.
Still with me?

Oh I know, darling,
I’m indulging, but indulge
me if you please.
I find the subject charming.

In fact,
I’d like to dab my fingers
in my inkwell
and write a poem across the wall.
“A Poem of Womanhood”
Now wouldn’t that be something?

Words writ in blood. But no,
not blood at all, I told you.
If blood is thicker than water, then
menstruation is thicker than brother-
hood. And the way

It metamorphosizes! Dazzles.
Changing daily
like starlight.
From the first
transparent drop of light
to the fifth day of chocolate paste.

I haven’t mentioned the smell. Think
Persian rug.
But thicker. Think
cello.
But richer.
A sweet exotic snuff
from an ancient prehistoric center.
Dark, distinct,
and excellently
female.

Sandra Cisneros

Dulzura

March 24, 2019

Make love to me in Spanish.
Not with that other tongue.
I want you juntito a mí,
tender like the language
crooned to babies.
I want to be that
lullabied, mi bien
querido, that loved.
I want you inside
the mouth of my heart,
inside the harp of my wrists,
the sweet meat of the mango,
in the gold that dangles
from my ears and neck.
Say my name. Say it.
The way it’s supposed to be said.
I want to know that I knew you
even before I knew you.

Sandra Cisneros
Loose Woman: Poems

Dreams…

April 9, 2015

suchsinsaremadeofthis

A dream is a poem the body writes. Even if we lie to ourselves in the day, the body is compelled to speak its truth at night.

Sandra Cisneros
Caramelo