cenicientas (Cenicienta)

This poem won First place in 2-Day Poem Contest 2018

together we are learning how to write in English

i am watching movies on the television and you are listening to the radio as you clean houses

feckless villains of the olden days! witness their defeat at the hands of a true champion’s goodness

(when sir is stabbed by errol flynn in adventures of robin hood does he die para siempre?) 

bueno no he is an actor playing a role

(so it could be me, me, me could play maid marian beautiful in blue) 

well yes but


yes we are both learning to write in English and learning to be präpər and präsp(ə)rəs

we are learning where (to put) the brackets and (the commas) and we are doing so together though at different speeds


not enough time passes before i go beyond


when you show me your homework i rust from the shame 

the shame of what? (get away from me, you dirty mirror!)


                                                 who am i to judge (      and yet      ) i’m sorry, did you say something?


it is hot and one of my friends is callusing his feet for the summer (how you say, chic!)

did you hear about angela's mom? 

turns out she’s a janitor! 

she’s a secret mexican so the joke writes itself 

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (first one to stop laughing is a maid’s daughter!)


enter (stage left) his comm
                                        odious house (screaming in English but on the inside) 

i want to drown my sorrows in white froth all day

look at the steamed milkiness of it all


i surprise everyone by becoming a woman in the tub that night

knock knock! (entrá nomás!)

(crying and crying) pobrecita! well in my country only huérfanos have callused feet 


let me tell you a story about being free


feel the frisson of a newfound love! a nubile, roric lass and a bucking bronco in a love tale as old as
a little woman is going to walk through the woods with a very tall man tonight. with her perfect toes stuffed
into brand new black leather loafers she tells her sister not to wait up! she throws her beautiful head back to  
laugh and laugh. now they are laughing and laughing down the path and for just that night she is a cresting wave 
of beauty, she says bésame mi rey and he does. she says lift me i want to volare, oh oh! but upon landing, 
(rook di goo, rook di goo!) cruel, false girl! she finds she is sightless (fake eyelashes tangled) in her ripped dress 
(handmade by birds with weak hearts) her (blonde beehive) wig stuck above her. two coifs stacked beneath a luma tree, 
having been forgotten by gravity. her tears light the way home. in her rush to float away she leaves a black loafer 
stuck in the muddy grass! 


oh how hateful that she has allowed this to transpire! what will happen next!

(did he come back with the shoe?) ha! no! he never looked at me again, qué pena, it was a nice shoe

(how sad…) no, mija tonta, i tell you so

you’ll never play that game (the hopefulness in her voice!) yes in a way it is a sad story, but a never again one 

so i like this story because even though i lose, i win



years later i cut open a banana and the pith frowns back at me

i have not grown it and yet i am smiling on its label

maybe you think i like that

maybe you are happy i am

smiling and smiling.