I Am the Faceless Woman on the Cover of Your Novel
POC Book Cover Model
I feel the most brown facing a solid, bright background that seduces preteens at the Scholastic fair. My long black-as-licorice braids with their sweet virginal shine beg for pity, are maybe a metaphor for tradition, repression, machismo, all the miserable Mexican girls that need to be saved from Mexican men. I’ve portrayed all kinds of Mexicans: Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans, Peruvians, and even a few Chinese. It’s easy when you’re faceless: all smooth, tan skin and thick hair, for a few blue moon romance novels, a wide set of hips. Most days are great. My fiance says I’m effortless to love, the way I am modest and mute and not too dark, how when he presses his palm to the plane of my skin, its indent remains like modeling clay. Other days, all I know are the eyes burning through the back of my head, and for a sure second, a pair of my own burning within it. If I were to tear away this caramel-colored membrane to find those eyes blue and lashes pale or to find just orificeless pulp, I might just keep digging.
In my country
the streets are paved in gold-
plated hoops taken out,
tossed aside the night before.
The sea shimmers like glass
shattered out of windshields.
Here, acrylics only come stilettoed.
Here, mamacitas only come mercurial.
In my country, there is no night
without a thousand slashed tires
and there is no morning
without deflated women
asking you to fill them.
Where I’m from, we have no need
for the sun or the moon because
the women are always burning
some cabron’s shit in backyard bonfires.
The women are always burning
and begging to be held,
but don’t all white boys have a bit
of a pyromaniac streak?
And don’t we make you feel brave?
And don’t you think
It’s better that way?