National Poetry Month Day 17: Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

By

 

 

 

I IDENTIFY AS

 

A flicker of self;
A lightning
Bolt of emotion;

A slip into a storm;
Cleaner
Than an empty

Hole;
Blue tongue pressed;
Water swigged;

Memory.
I require space
To swallow

What has happened to me
And convert it into
Breast and ass

Tissue.
I will be beautiful
In my own language.

I will be
More than a self
And less than a person.

What will echo will depend
On not what I say
But how

The folds of my throat
Quiver.
I slept through every

Childhood earthquake
So I never learned how
To stand in a doorway

Comfortably.
A crack in a wall is
Its own form of light.

A door is
In many ways
A wall.

***

Photograph of Joshua Jennifer Espinoza courtesy of Joshua Jennifer Espinoza.


Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet living in California. Her work has been featured in The American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Poem-a-day @ Poets.org, Denver Quarterly, and Washington Square Review, among others. She is the author of two poetry collections: I’m Alive / It Hurts / I Love It (Big Lucks 2019), and THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS (Civil Coping Mechanisms 2016). She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at UC Riverside. More from this author →