Friday, April 4, 2014
a poem by erika l. sánchez
Hija de La Chingada
The men whistle from their trucks
though you’re only 13 and your breasts
are still tucked
meekly inside you.
Every day after school, the factory men yell
make noises like sucking
Technically, you could be a little mother–
But what do you know of sex?
You with the flapping
T-shirts and glasses the size of platters.
One evening you come home
an hour late
and your mother calls you
hija de la chingada.
Te pregunta ¿en donde estas
abriendo las patas?
What boy have you been fucking?
sits on the couch cracking peanuts
watching a Mexican gameshow– bugles and maracas,
and big-titted women dancing
with a geriatric host.
Finally, when your plump little body
wants what it wants,
when you are bent in the arc
you take a man
inside your mouth
like beautiful gulps of summer,
until the shame clicks
its way towards you
like an ancient bug.
How many times will the rapid pumps
leave you heaving
in the bathroom?
When your mother finds a condom in your pocket,
she slaps your mouth with the intention
of breaking your teeth.
She tells you this.
Birth control? Aspirina, she says.
You put the aspirin between your knees
and hold it tight.
Now you say you’re a grown-ass woman
who can fuck her way across the world,
if she wants.
But when you wrap your legs around your man,
when he yanks your hair
the way you like,
you still ask him to pretend
as if you hold a beautiful rapture
between your legs.
You still ask him to pretend
as if you’re human.
"Hija de La Chingada" first appeared in Ostrich Review
Erika L. Sánchez is a Fulbright Scholar, CantoMundo Fellow, and winner of the “Discovery”/Boston Review Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Pleiades, Witness, Anti-, Hunger Mountain, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Copper Nickel, Boston Review, Latino USA on NPR, and is forthcoming in Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Penguin 2015). Her nonfiction has been published in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Rolling Stone, Salon, NBC News, Cosmopolitan, and many others. You can find her at erikalsanchez.com.