De Ambiente

tatiana de la tierra

graciela wouldn’t fuck me
wouldn’t feel her hand
inside me
wouldn’t let me know her pleasure
and wouldn’t know mine

graciela wouldn’t taste me
and explore me
wouldn’t want me
caliente, abierta
like a wanting woman does

she wouldn’t move on me
with grace
wouldn’t make noises
with abandon
or open trembling thighs

graciela wouldn’t fuck me
wouldn’t release her mami’s rosary
or answer her family’s questions
wouldn’t challenge her country’s machismo
or her friends, the queer-baiting feminists
or her fears, temores que consumen

she wouldn’t live her love fully
or fully love herself
graciela, tortillera,
wouldn’t risk her love daily
for machine guns in the night

mujer de ambiente y poderosa,
mujer que ama, mujer que niega
to survive is to bring fear home:
fear for hands, thighs
fear for women’s words
and so, graciela wouldn’t fuck me

written:  julio de 1987, provincetown

Originally published:

“De Ambiente.”  Compañeras: Latina Lesbians, An Anthology. Ed. Juanita Ramos. New York:  Latina Lesbian History Project, 1987.  86-87.  Also published as: “De Ambiente.” Spanish translation.  tet-a-tet June 1996; and “De Ambiente.” Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time.  Ed. Carl Morse and Joan Larkin.  New York:  St. Martin’s, 1988.  90-91.