By Jennifer Tamayo Jennifer Tamayo
At the airport, we all take a shot of aguardiente
because we all had each other’s faces
When I saw my brother I saw my face
I saw my grandmother I saw my face
I saw my aunt I saw my stupid face
On the way up the mountain I saw my face in a pile of trash
I saw my face in the mule’s ass
I saw my lover I saw my face but it was white & weary
I saw my brother again and there was my face;
               my other brother, my other face
I saw my face in the American Apparel ivory chiffon blouse
I brought for this occasion
In the occasion I saw my face, I did

I saw my face in the pankekes the next morning
My face was in the talk of death
My face was in her teeth, the pavement, etc.,
There was a jail cell at the Museo Nacional, I saw my face
A woman flowercunted & crosslegged, my face & my face
Everywhere my face like I didn’t have one
Botero’s asses all my faces
I took down notes when it came to torture
& the inquisition and saw my face in the leather swing set
Clavicle spikerest & eye ruptrest
Faces, I suppose, are a type of torture
to look like one but never be one

Source: Poetry (May 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2014
 Jennifer  Tamayo


Jennifer Tamayo is a Colombian-born transnational artist and activist based in New York City. She earned a BA from the University of Chicago and an MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University. She is the author of the collection of poems and art work, Red Missed Aches Read Missed Aches Red Mistakes Read Mistakes (Switchback, 2011), YOU DA ONE (Coconut Books, 2014), and the limited edition chapbook POEMS ARE THE ONLY . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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