Rumpus Original Poetry: Three Poems by Dena Rash Guzman






doctor, sorry I flashed my beav   no elegance in this quarter
I’m here to surrender     my womb                                             oust my babymaker
fling it in a bucket.  Christ knows I know I am ordinary

so, raise a donut, toast and fare
this organ well on its way.    here’s to you who say
childbirth’s not a miracle.   it happens every day.


Shhh Zip It

I, I don’t say.
He, he calls.

He, he says,
Make a beeline,

Baby. You’re in, baby,
Or you’re out. He, he

Thinks my, my love is a bake
Sale. I am, I’m the mom who
Doesn’t care. No pie.

He, he says I am confused,
Queen Queena, or
He, he says I am a child princess,

Spoiled, on permanent siesta.
I say, I, I am persuasive
I say, I, I am poised,
I say, my, my people love love love me.

He, he asks why I want to die.
I , I don’t. He, he does not listen.

I, I think he needs to shave.
Zip it. He, he took the last word.


To Leah, Who Smiled In Salem (LOL WTF Men)

Sinking is not silent, not to the sinking.
A toddler who meant to swim, but sank
Heard no silence. The sunken know
The gargle, the baritone cry stopped
As a ship in a bottle. The water lungs.

There’s a museum for the sunken, the burned.
A photo of you smiling, hip cocked,
tits up at its old blue door.
Who else smiled? Witches,
whether they knew they were witches.
Trust in God, Some did.

What is the sound a witch makes
when she sinks? There is no word for that.
Our grandmothers swam

to the shore,
they     ran    like    hell.

Dena Rash Guzman is the author of two books of poetry, Life Cycle (Dog on a Chain Press, 2013) and Joseph (Hologram Press, 2017). She lives in Oregon. More from this author →