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  • Seeking, and: Girasol, and: Standing in front of Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Can series
  • Reina Alejandra Prado (bio)


These three poems were workshopped at The New School last summer. All together the sampling attempts to draw parallels among these public actions unraveling the loops of history that permeate through our human struggles. Often, asking—How can my writing be of service to our communities when they are assaulted physically, emotionally and socially, while attempting to find joy amidst the turbulence? These poems have not been published in any other journal or publication.


Dedicated to the women of Cd. Juárez and those in Latin America who were victims of feminicide

Buscar: To SeekYo busco, I seekWoman with a short bob-haircutShe must be petite, morena, or güeraRisueña y de buen parecerAvailable to manufacture technological greed to 1st World neighbor

Tu buscas: You seekA modest woman with nimble fingersWoman who sews by piecePieces together intricate partsShe's thrifty with moneyMakes less than minimum wageStitches cada peso pa' cubrir sus gastosSends all her money to familyLives in a shanty house with other mujeres that look like her sisters

Ella / Él buscaMother / Father seeksSibling seeksChild seeks

She looks like any of my cousins¿La has visto?Have you seen herworking in Juárez, Guadalajara, Mexico, Tijuana, Los Angeles?Encuentro cruzes sobre la fronteraMarkers of where a body is found but her spirit is restlessZapatos bought with first paycheckPedazos de su vestidumbre, a dress that her mom made [End Page 161]

Nosotros buscamos: We seekNews of her existencebecomes our modern day MalincheVilified for leaving home to make a livingMen covet her beauty, virgin thighsViolada / ViolatedToo many have died at the hands of these perverse fetishistsThe cowards dismembered her thinking themselves godsYa Basta! Ni una más! Ni una más!

Ocotillos don't bloom ascuerpos rise from the desert landscapeAssemblages of cadavers collect over a decadeCoroners numb at seeing so many needing to be identifiedNo one expected the femicide to continueLlorona cries por sus hijasYa Basta! Ni una más! Ni una más!


After Frida Kahlo Self-Portrait Inside a Sunflower, 1954

Pain became your companionShowed us how to navigate personal turmoilExpressed it in art and lifeEres hija de la mala vidaOpenly loved all who animated your intellect

Painting is your true passionBound to a bedIt became your studioFirst self-portrait after accident,depict yourself as seductress in red velvet dressunafraid to revealbeauty & vulnerabilitiesEach painting a scene from your life, includingobservations en gringolandia

In 1938, painted your xochitl as a vibrant red sunResplendent, fleshy, and auburnEmbodied sirenaAll fell in love with youyour vigor for life, tequila y cigarillosFlores te dieron tus pretendientespero le diste tu corazón a Diego [End Page 162]

Jadeite, coral, obsidian necklacestalismans to protectfrom heartbreak and physical achesThe gemstones were more than adornmentOpened up the flow of love and compassion for self and othersAttuned fourth chakra to walk a path aligned with your spiritual political outlook

Heard La Llorona coming for your transitionStopped painting for a yearThirty years after your first portrait,reconnected to your passionSelf-Portrait Inside a Sunflower is said to be your last onecompleted on the year of your death 1954

Your hands could not control the brushJagged strokes, color blotchescreate abstract landscapeRed moon appears again as it did in 1947Sun and Life still-life paintingPopocaptl and Ixtacihuatl in the background ready to hold you in their embraceCadmium yellow sunflower tehuana headdress frames your faceSonrisa picara, devilish smirk and twinkle in your eyesMusa coquetaThe last gift you left us

Standing in front of Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Can series

I recall the last time I had Chicken Vegetable Soup.Father tried to be caring like mamí after she left to D.F.He couldn't make fideo.He...


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pp. 161-164
Launched on MUSE
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