my gender is (not) your colonial project

my gender is (not) //

your   colonial   project

By: Juliany Taveras

 

i am one of three daughters.

 

long dark hair frames our faces like
static electricity
and we have made our way
along every current
between one island
and      another

 

but we are stuck in orbit—
the buzzing electrons
of a beautifully decorated
nuclear family

 

dysfunctional and
stuttering

 

its atomic blueprint
came to us
on decaying wooden ships,
down the barrel of a gun,
in gleaming
gilded
bibles

 

IMAGÍNATE: ANACAONA
telling the white man
as he lowered his anchor
in the waters of her isla
and raised his gibbet
to the sky:

 

YOU CAN KISS

MY HURRICANE ASS*

 

figuratively, of course
because we never asked for his pale hands
a cold plague
to touch us at all

 

to pillage our bodies
and uproot our land like
splitting a coconut       open

 

they made us this
out of greed.

 

and today when
my mother buys me dresses
in colors i never wear
and asks when i will find my husband
and prays
prays
prays

 

from sunset
to moonrise

 

her rosary
looks like a beautifully decorated
chain
running from wrist to ankle
to anchor
at the bottom
of the Caribbean         Sea.

 

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Collage by Juliany F. Taveras

Collage by Juliany Taveras

 

* Reference from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz.


Juliany Taveras is an Afro-Latinx writer, dog-lover, & typeface enthusiast from Brooklyn, NY. She recently graduated from Vassar College, where she completed her BA in Media Studies with a senior thesis that explored playwriting & performance as tools for the articulation of the Othered body and decolonization of historical memory. Currently, she is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the St. Joseph’s College Writer’s Foundry.
Inspired by her family of island matriarchs, her favorite radical women writers, and everyone she meets in between, she’s pretty much made it her life’s mission to use the power of storytelling to bring people together and write new, just worlds into existence. Her play, The Anatomy of Light, was featured on the 2016 Kilroys List of notable new plays by women and trans playwrights. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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