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Machete: Look

By Jasminne Mendez

 It matters what you call a thing
  Solmaz Sharif

It isn’t easy
          to look
at what I have
          cut. Which is to say —
          from the body
of a tree
          or a woman
or a child.
          Which is to say —
lean in &
         over & learn to live
          Which is to say —
          A limb.
A phantom
          pain. A cold
          where the blood
or the blade
         remembers bone.
         Which is to say —
         what I have done
for war &
         for cane,
for borders &
         for land,
to lovers &
         to home.
Which is to say —
the other way,
         there is always more
         to see.




Listen as Jasminne Mendez reads, "Machete: Look."

Added: Monday, October 28, 2019  /  Used with permission.
Jasminne Mendez
Photo by Michael Leonard.

Jasminne Mendez is a poet, educator, mother, community organizer, and award-winning author. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in The New England Review, The Acentos Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, and others. She is the author of two poetry/prose collections: Island of Dreams (Floricanto Press, 2013) which won an International Latino Book Award, and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry (Arte Publico Press, 2018). She is a Pushcart Prize Nominee and has received fellowships from Canto Mundo and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, among others. She is an MFA graduate of the creative writing program at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, and a University of Houston alumni.

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