poem index


Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

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Joshua Jennifer Espnioza

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.

by this poet

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
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

Like light but
in reverse we billow.

We turn a corner
and make the hills

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.