Elizabeth Miller-Reyes

Elizabeth Miller-Reyes is a poet and human journey writer. She dances with the nostalgia and humor of her experiences as a Dominican immigrant, wife, tia and woman seeking a spiritual journey. Elizabeth Miller-Reyes has been featured in Tin House, ASU Downtown Magazine and upcoming Dominican Anthology: Pajaros, lesbianas y queers a volar! She resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her wife and fur babies and is renowned for her baked goods and empanadas.

She Calls Me Guapa

her mouth full of the secret
of what makes a girl smile.
The translation reads
someone physically attractive,
especially of the face.

I become slurped chinola seed
on her tongue
sometimes sour, mostly sweet.
She plants me in the soil
of father--daughter dances
waters me with first kisses
there is enough richness here:
the passed down recipe for fricase
greeting me with arms
of cumin and garlic at the door.
Perking like afternoon cafecito
I sprout proudly, hopeful
girl made woman in name,
Guapa. A word bestowed male
she makes hers
by mere replacement of vowel
on her bottom lip.
We turn slow-quick-quick to
con los años que me quedan.
the dictionary goes on, lovely.
I see her roots coming in like yuca fibers,
how we outgrow the years
Invasive, strong-rooted and thorned
      daring to be anything
      other than what is expected..

----------------------------------------------- // ---------------------------------------------------------

Sabiduria (Wisdom)

What I remember of you
—chew sugar cane until it’s pulp.
A curious child following carefully to a field.
Banana tree arms and yucca feet
fanning dense what lives in a conuco.
Here and now
you are farmer.
You are maker
of what nourishes you.
The sunshine souvenirs
the gold glistened backs
of a family of ducks
in a single file line
baby after baby.
Out there, people are hustling
chasing the peso to their deathbed.
You taught me to relish the moment,
trust your senses will find sugar cane
or the storm that crashes onto you.
Remember to feed them first
as they will feed you.
Wisdom has such patina
—faded tattooed initials on a forearm,
brown dirt beneath green cane.
I add another spoonful of sugar to my coffee
for what made you sweet, for today,
for my one and only found memory of you.

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