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Juanita Rey


A storm's moving in.
Please take care of me.

According to the weather forecast,
it will be as primal, as swirling,

as a Caribbean la tormenta.
Protect me from lightning strikes,

cacophonous thunder rolls.
I am embarrassed to admit it

but I am in abject fear.
You only know me as

the vivalavirgen,
the unserious Latina.

But the air is about to spin
in some violent vortex,

bluster wildly,
whip and shatter.

Look at me. My face is as pale
as brown ever gets.

My eyes crunch together
so I can"t see what I'm thinking.

My hands tremble. Knees thump together.
You ask "Is anything the matter?"

If you don't take care of me
then you're the matter.

You're Late

Mosquitoes save me
from impatience.
I’m swatting

one after the other.
And a motorcycle
roars down the street,

cutting the air in two.
My attention thanks
that machine tenfold.

I’m tolerant
at least for as long as
my neighbor’s dog

sidles up for a pat.
And those insects return,
more desirous of my blood

than you are of my
good favor, apparently.
You should be here by now.

Luckily, sunset is.
And so’s the blue jay
peppering the sky

with screeches.
It’s six o’clock and all of these
are willing to spend

the moment with me,
even the bright yellow tulips,
the young boys playing basketball,

and the mosquitoes
I thwack when they land on my arm.
You must have a better place to be.

I’ve only this one.
You’d be surprised
who appreciates that.

Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has been in this country five years. Her work has been published in Pennsylvania English, Opiate Journal, Petrichor Machine and Porter Gulch Review.


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