Plain China

Body Project

by Dariana D. Guerrero · Smith College
BODIES!, Serena Hocharoen · Grinnell College

He told me

my Body

wasn't his

preference.

 

Said it was:

too big

too loud

too feminist

and I could feel the slice of his tongue open up

trenches in my flesh

and skim

over fault lines where past meets fat.

 

I tried to change for him. Meet his preference.

 

Shave my parts.

Straighten my half-Dominican locks.

Part lips--

Keep a curve.

 

He didn't understand what kind of warrior I was.

 

Stretch marks like battle scars

mark my skin--

crosshatching a crossroads

as the borders

drip like dulce de leche

reminding me of the island

I saw once in a dream

and touched twice with

extended palm.

My flesh was conceived by dualism.

 

My body will not apologize

for carrying the weight of

a mother, father, brother

lineage

dependent on:

flesh

bone

membrane

artery.

 

Mestiza consciousness.

 

Borders I cannot cross, flesh that cannot be merged,

a lingering multiplication; oppressor/oppressed.

I perfect my Standard English

while hips oscillate to the sound

of bachata y merengue

tying to dance its way

into my college education.

 

It is never ending.

It is always tired.

It is ready for battle.

 

He didn't know what kind of story I was trying to tell with my

Body.   

About the Author

Dariana D. Guerrero · Smith College

Dariana D. Guerrero is a senior at Smith College. She studies English with an emphasis in creative writing. Dariana has been widely published and has had her work recognized nationally and internationally in the academic journal, Women: A Cultural Review. She began writing poetry in high school with the Andover Bread Loaf organization and continues to work with the organization today. Dariana calls Lawrence, Massachusetts home.  

About the Artist

Serena Hocharoen · Grinnell College

Serena Hocharoen is a senior at Grinnell College studying Studio Art and Chemistry. She makes artist books, handmade paper, and is the lifetime editor of spaghetti teens zine.