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About this poet

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is the author of i’m alive / it hurts / i love it (Boost House, 2014). Espinoza’s poems have also appeared online, in publications including The Feminist Wire and The Offing, and in the e-book In Fear of a Trans Planet (Be About It Press, 2015). Espinoza lives in Riverside, California.

It Is Important To Be Something

This is like a life. This is lifelike.
I climb inside a mistake
and remake myself in the shape
of a better mistake—
a nice pair of glasses
without any lenses,
shoes that don’t quite fit,
a chest that always hurts.
There is a checklist of things
you need to do to be a person.
I don’t want to be a person
but there isn’t a choice,
so I work my way down and
kiss the feet.
I work my way up and lick
the knee.
I give you my skull
to do with whatever you please.
You grow flowers from my head
and trim them too short.
I paint my nails nice and pretty
and who cares. Who gives a shit.
I’m trying not to give a shit
but it doesn’t fit well on me.
I wear my clothes. I wear my body.
I walk out in the grass and turn red
at the sight of everything.

Copyright © 2015 by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. Used with the permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. Used with the permission of the author.

Joshua Jennifer Espnioza

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is the author of i’m alive / it hurts / i love it (Boost House, 2014).

by this poet

poem
California is a desert and I am a woman inside it.
The road ahead bends sideways and I lurch within myself. 
I’m full of ugly feelings, awful thoughts, bad dreams 
of doom, and so much love left unspoken. 

Is mercury in retrograde? someone asks. 
Someone answers, No, it’s something else 
like that
2
poem

Like light but
in reverse we billow.

We turn a corner
and make the hills
disappear.

You rearrange
my parts until no
more hurting.

No more skin-sunk
nighttime fear.

No more blameless death.

My hair loses its atoms.
My body glows
in the dark.