Ysabel Y. Gonzalez

Ruthless

Dear Brown Bright Heart,
sneak into my mouth—crowned glory
loosen my coarse crimson tongue
and breathe the memory in:
that moment Mami’s hands planted
themselves in my braid
shook me loose, said
Freebird wants to fight.
I do. I want
the long, wild fight
like when a chunk of map tears
and there is a choice to make.
I choose to ruthlessly start
from the scratchy
throated beginning.

Ysabel Y. Gonzalez is also known for her performance poetry under the alias Ancestral Poetisa. She received her BA from Rutgers University, an MFA in Poetry from Drew University and works for the Poetry Program at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Ysabel has received invitations to attend VONA, Tin House, Ashbery Home School and BOAAT Press workshops. She is also the Program Director for the BOAAT Writing Retreat and has been published or is forthcoming in It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop, IMANIMAN: Poets Reflect on Transformative & Transgressive Borders Through Gloria Anzaldúa’s Work, Wide Shore, Waxwing Literary Journal, Huizache, Acentos Review, and phati’tude Literary Magazine.




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