Three Poems by Stephanie Martinez-Beltran

The Invisible W-O-M-A-N

Since birth I was given the definition of “girl”,
Provided with the color coordination of bright colored petal patterns beneath the surface of a
delicate pastel butterfly.
Enveloped in my mother’s “mi niña preciosa” lullaby.
To this day, that is my bluejay dream parallel,
The reason why the world believes I should be in hell.
As I grew, my body began to acknowledge the pain and the bruises that these rib cage prison
bars imprinted on my sickly white skin.
Was this “indecision” such a sin?
I could hear the deafening, “pink, blue, pink, blue”,
Mockingly exclaiming, “Of your identity you have no clue!”
Was this true?
Could it be that I had lost all that I knew?
Who was I really?
Not a tulip, not a rose, definitely not a white lily
But I was not a tree or a vine,
Not even half a dime was I worth.
For how could nothing be worth something?
I am not the perfect, “girl”
But know this…
I lack the curves but not the nerves to stand in my place regardless of the glare that is constantly
cast upon me because I am different.
I am the invisible W-O-M-A-N.
Will my invisibility ever come to an end?
Being something that I am not, no longer can I pretend!
I am treated as a transparent trash bag,
Thrown away,
As waste,
Without a trace.
My hearts is pounding, my hands are sweaty! Can’t you see that I can’t take it anymore?!
Look at me?! Really look at me. Now tell me what you see?
“Hey you!” “Girl!” “She!” is that really all you see?!
A small girl with a side braid,
But apparently it’s not important to even know this human’s name.
My style of clothing does not make me male,
So stop trying to personalize my own shell.
Say what you think,
Say what you may,
Yet I cannot change this anatomical display.
We have come to judge a book by its cover but what happens when this book has no cover?
I dare you to see beyond the pink and blue veil that has been intricately woven between the years
of your development as human.
Because that’s what I am … simply human.
We fear what we cannot understand,
When instead we should stand together hand in hand.
I am the purity of water,
The essence of mint,
The presence of hurricanes,
With the chime like voice of the wind.
I am the invisible W-O-M-A-N.
“Um… Woman you mean?”
Now who told you that I am a woman?
No. I am Warrior like, Original, Mature, Amazing, and definitely a Non disposable, HUMAN
No longer will I be a pretender,
I’ll instead embrace the fact that I’m agender…
Even if that makes me invisible.

Until I Live

I never knew what it felt like to have my Mama up close,
Never knew what it felt like to be enveloped in a blanket wrapped in the scent of rose.
It was never what I chose,
To wear potato sacks instead of clothes.
To be raised in the streets,
Eating scraps instead of meats.
Sell my truths for their lies,
Turn my eyes into midnight spies.
Sell my dignity for impunity,
Only for a false hope of opportunity.
Hanging shoes from electric wires,
Hoping to not be spotted by the church choir.
I never chose this path,
It was the outcome of the antithesis of my dad’s wrath.
I lost him.
His lips sealed to the beer bottle rim,
The liquor is his blood spilling to the brim.
Just like for me are the drugs,
My deal with these truant thugs.
I never chose this death,
The toxic fumes my soul expels with every breath.
This is not living,
Reeking with the scent of misgiving.
No one trusts me,
I can’t ever remember feeling glee.
I miss you dad,
Your sadness before the world is now unclad.
My hands wield pocket knives instead of pens,
Protecting myself in the alleyways every bend.
I knew better than to wish upon a star that was just a satellite,
I knew that someday my heart would explode with overwhelming feelings like dynamite.
Looking into his eyes was like facing an endless void that would swallow you if you got too
Not longer can I stand this manipulative atmosphere.
Since mama left,
Papa feels this burdening heft.
As I lie under the midnight sky,
I can’t help but wonder what it would feel like to fly.
I smile for the first time,
Regretting all my crimes.
And cry…
“Mama I’m coming home…”
I hope to soon quit this endless roam… “until the day I live”.

The Beat of Life

I can’t remember what it felt like to be embraced by the the crisp cold breeze that delicately
caressed my skin.
I can’t remember what it felt like to bathe in pure blessed sunlight, feeding my jovial eyesight
that longed for flight in life.
My head collides with the wall and reality takes a toll on my mind as I feel the inspiring
intoxication tease my imagination with dreams.
Instead I plummet into hell…
To infinite shadows that swallow my screams.
My pleas for help.
I can hear them…
The riots, they go on every night within the buzzing nightclub of my ribcage.
I can hear their taunting laughs, as they feast their eyes upon my mistakes and regrets from
But I can’t even to manage to yell for help, for mercy.
I feel the cold damp walls and my mind becomes a hazy,
Purple nicotine filled blur.
The rat a tat of their guns, my guns, our guns…
The agonizingly hypnotic sirens, fighting the chaotic realization behind my eyes.
The blinking red, blue, and white lights mocking my fragile body seduce by delirium.
Rainbow auras hug the swaying sweaty bodies as they tumble down the rabbit hole of deceit and
My heart pounds like a drum,
My head tick tick tocks like the rattling of their orange tic tic tacs,
Hidden with drugs to replace their snacks only to fill up an emotional gap.
Nothing but the end of the shining flashlight.
An eminent death trap…
They were lucky though.
They are gone.
And I am here.
All alone.
I close my heavy eyes, incline my head towards the ceiling, and shed a sulfur tear.
Alone with the dit dit dahs of the prison wall.

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