GIANTHOLOGY (Yara Liceaga-Rojas)

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Yara Liceaga-Rojas



If this is unnecessary: Iridescent


She leans over the bathroom sink

the standing water awaits impatiently

for her masculinity to collapse

tiny bits of hair sliding from the blade

into the liquid

as her chest becomes hers

on the swollen reflection that the shaving cream



My father’s head is a bucket full of magnets


Here is to what we didn’t agree

you’ll build the world

the strangest door

like those refrigerators in white young poet’s homes

after they staple their eleventh chapbook

words arranged in chaotic order

knots of sense

It’s my hair, dad, what you don’t remember

I can’t say

but still, I hear you display your magnets

over the phone

watch them stick into the world

arranged in the correct grammatical order

while syntax insists on covering up for you

when you insist on disappearing

in the chaos of your well-brushed sentences.

Your brain agrees to assist you in choosing the wrong words in the right order.

Here is to what I agree on

this poem

in English

is you



Everything Leaves


Mara was returning

when we started filtering toward the dropper tip

spilling all over

when we fell

we landed with eyes roaming shock

and struggled to stand up

as shadows

as bodying the other’s reflection

sculpting pretty shapes of cracked creature

anchored to the thought that the right strategy would be

to turn grey the coffee to somewhat normalize the sky’s tones

that a thoughtful strategy

is a sunbath

in your company


I let the wind tangle my path

with my arm on the door’s leather slope

and I ask myself how does one say farewell


how does one create goodbyes, my love,

to the burning caress of the journeys

that belongs to this blue and intimate dialogue with the horizon

which you offer chopped up

like a breakfast coming out of your hands the morning after

a goodbye which acknowledges nourishment is packed up in tenderness

or in that place where the world recognizes the word nuca

and I don’t want to play the fool

I leave that to certainty

of the scent hidden in the zone where levity settles and smiles

and this heat

this heat makes my hands runny

from sticking words together

this heat makes me unsay

so I

relish the distance

with a grimace like I’m going to cry as a wave to a wave

in the swell


I close my eyelids to help you understand me

and like the Shaman’s act

that inversely disappears

I unbraid within

opening my jaw and sweat

water and word are unhinged and compacted

sounds of almonds hit the pavement

I notice I speak calmly about how the future

like lined with sugar crystals but you know it’s only multiform ice

and it moves you

so you take out your hand to farewell

and I unsheath tenderness to leave you slack-jawed

and stuck in all the memories belonging to the word solace

that become loose within

feathered memories that observe the world

perched and prim on love’s wire

eclectic closeline crossed by that which lights up our steps

like we’re in Michael Jackson’s video.


it is the reason why I press my hand down so deep inside

I push the button which numbs me

so the plot hardens until it weighs enough to leave it behind

in that exact spot of unlikely return

locked out by signs

of satiety, crumbs with which one builds

bread figurines reflecting hunger’s holograms

trying not to collapse

having an ill desire as our sole nourishment

an optical illusion that claws at the day’s temperament.


Bio: A Brother Thomas Fellow, Yara Liceaga Rojas is a mother, poet/writer, performer, cultural worker, and educator, born in Puerto Rico, who currently resides in the Greater Boston area. She is the author of 5 poetry books, curator/coordinator of the multidisciplinary arts series Poetry Is Busy, and offers creative writing, poetry, and performance workshops in cultural centers, libraries, and other institutions. She is a Cambridge Arts, Kindle Project and New England Foundation for the Arts’ Creative City, The Boston Foundation’s Live Arts Boston grantee. Her transmedia, multi-disciplinary project El despojo: ¿Alguien ha/Has Anyone? is her latest project.



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