Juanita Rey


I am the pregnant woman
sitting alone
in the cinema.

The screen crackles awake.
A light ray shines above me.

Real life ends,
thank God.
Vicarious begins.
I emerge from
the swill of my day to day
into another’s script.
No wonder my face glows
with expectation.

But behind me,
some guy is talking on his cellphone. 
A couple in front 
get all close and sultry.
And down in my guts,
new life shocks me like a current. 

One lone popcorn
on my tongue
struggles to break free. 

One gulp.

Unlike me,
the movie comes and goes
I don’t think it even breaks a sweat.


It pays me

to think of how much 
I focus on being alive

through the medications,
doctor’s visits
and clinical tests, 

to think that 
I have learned to love
while hating my body so,

to think that I can adore a face
even as my own 
seems lost somewhere
inside itself,  

to think that I can touch
while knowing
there are parts of me
that don’t bear touching.


If she hadn’t touched them
to measure their growth,
their developing shape,
or tried out one bra 
after another
in an effort to contain
and a lover hadn’t sensitively
fondled and kissed
those soft fleshy mounds
he called dumplings, 
and first one baby
and then a second 
hadn’t taken up their offer
of nourishment,
then despite the pain
in the side of her right breast,
she’d still rather have given 
up a finger or toe
than rain sad curses 
on her reflection
in the bathroom’s
full length mirror. 

Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has been in this country five years. Her work has been published in  Pennsylvania English, Opiate Journal, Petrichor Machine and Porter Gulch Review.

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