Self Portrait @ 21

I am really good at missing the bus

I am often about to turn a corner where the bus stops and I can feel it, something

In my chest, like un presentimiento like my father seeing a vision of his father knocking on the door of his house and turning the corner and locking eyes with him, with his hands at the door.

 The bus speeds quickly down the road, while I concentrate on the sound of my boots on the snow. Like squeezing chuño in your hands.

 At the stop I watch the little specks of white bouncing off the black umbrellas of three Dominicanas.

 When I think of umbrellas, I remember pushing a shopping cart in the Miami sun showers con mami and my sister with $50 worth of groceries for the month.

 Sometimes the only safe place is between your tacky flowery bed sheets (como las de tu abuelita) with your lover.

 For my 21st Birthday mami gives me a bracelet with my name engraved in a little silver heart. It reminds me of the golden hoop earrings my best white friend got herself with her name splitting the circle, Tracey.

 And I wonder what it means to have your name incised into something. When I am walking with my eyes on the floor beneath me I sometimes can’t tell if I am seeing the snow or its shadow.

 On the first night of my birthday, I write my name onto the snowy windshield of an Allston car with my finger.  

 

uñas

me pintaron las uñas un color fosforescente.

rosado. Y me decían de donde viene señorita

mientras el pueblo andaba en la corrida y la ventana decía

manicure pedicure

 la niña triste y dulce de la mamá blanquita, si, ella

la que nunca mas regreso. 

 whisper in my ear baby, words i want to hear

 y es que acaso siempre serás esa niña triste y dulce?

la que no quiere bailar y llora por todo, quien corre a la tierra

a esconder sus dedos y cubre su sonrisa con sus manos

 las uñas extendidas

 que es este lugar donde todo es celeste y en la cocina

hay tres pinturas de peras una al lado de la otra. y

en el gabinete un anisado me lanza un piropo

acorralado por velitas misioneras y colonias me dice put

your head on my shoulder. Mientras mi amor duerme fastidiado

por la lentitud del día, la bulla del albazo, los almuerzos exagerados.

baja el sol y llega el frio a esa cama que grita con cada respiro.

el anisado dulce y amargo quema mi garganta y se vuelve un rio

en mi estomago, un rio que se traga todo cualquiercosa y cualquiercantidad. 

 

 

Ximena Izquierdo Ugaz is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and educator born in Lima, Perú. Over recent years, Izquierdo has primarily explored the imprint of inter-generational trauma within her own family in relationship to place and migration in and outside of Perú. She is a  co-curator at Sweety's, a gallery and platform that prioritizes artists and audiences of color by providing pertinent programming and exhibitions. Ximena is also a Third Grade art teacher at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Boston, as well as the Education Programs Manager at the Urbano Project