Rebeca Lois Lucret

Rebeca Lois Lucret is a New York based, Puerto Rican-Cuban poet, writer, and playwright. Her work explores her Afro-Caribbean roots, culture, and identity. She has featured at various NYC venues, is the co-writer of a three woman play titled, “Live Big Girl'' and has been published in various lit journals and anthologies, some of which include The Abuela Stories Project Anthology, The BX Files Anthology, Brilliant Flame! Amiri Baraka: Poems, Plays, Politics for the People Anthology and What They Leave Behind: A Latinx Anthology. For more info visit

What I think About…
     (after Lucille Clifton)

When I ride the train away from Rockefeller
Named a New York City landmark in 1985
Named a national historic landmark in 1987

Maybe papi planted those rose bushes
Maybe he lined up that labyrinth
With hands still dripping water from el Rio Grande de Loiza
Maybe papi planted the blueprints of his heart
A midtown vision of El Yunque, single handedly
With palms like earth at the foot of the mango trees
He climbed as a boy

His hands – steady, supple but most of all, forgiving
Making sure each root went buried beneath the soil
Each marigold sure to bloom a golden fury
Each lavender stem to stand
Like all the women in his life – tall
Certain to cure all the afflictions of the mind
Each gargantuan heart-shaped leaf -
A guaranteed shimmy
A show, a spectacle
Each branch set like bones
Where the art calls them to be
And papi -
With each pearl of sweat
With each thorn pricked finger
Unseen among the cacti garden
So long as the tourist were pleased

When I hear about the latest exhibit
The dance of nations over the crowded rink
The great six pools of granite
The spider lilies granting remedies
The perennials offering peace
The jungle of flora and foliage giving life to all
I think - that’s my papi
He was your curandero
Your healer
Your bonesetter
Your witch-hazel and yautia
He made the best gardens
He IS the New York City landmark
He IS the real national historic landmark
In this whole white world

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

Dear Olga,

I want to tell you I understand now
about the baskets. That sacred craft

of weaving. How you spent year after year
in the same tradition of doing what

abuelitas do, creating moments.
Una canasta para cada hija de Bobe

though you were coming to see me.
No easter basket was bigger or better

and that is what you were trying to tell me.
Nothing fancy. Bamboo bent, grass woven,

recycled materials made to hold sweetness.
Everyone deserves sweetness, though you

were coming to see me. Your blood in my veins
but I get it now, the need for each of us girls

whether yours or not to have a container of joy.
You too were a girl once. I get it now. Your transition

was an unraveling of threads until I walked
the aisle of the neighborhood Rite Aid

and remembered all our little hands. Five girls
undoing cellophane and tasting the universe

with a lick of a chocolate bunny. We had each other
like the braiding of our baskets. You created that.

Una canasta para cada hija de Bobe
and as I say that now I see your true purpose.

I want you to know, I get it. I have people.
I have kin. I am of circles. I will always

have for holding, for storing, for ceremony,
especially in this new world without you.

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


After Joyce Peseroff

A 1950’s retro linoleum/A row of execution chairs or narrow styling chairs or hairdresser chairs or barber chairs, call them what you will/A wall of full-length mirrors just for your head/A faded poster of a 1970’s Demi Moore look-alike/A curling at the corners of a handwritten list of prices and services/Services include: erasure, improving, shame, hiding, burning, pain/Upon the counters: A tub of Keratin, A tub of shampoo, A tub of leave-in-conditioner, A tub of Slimfast, A tub of Herbalife, One dog-eared Avon catalog and one pink grapefruit for the burning of fat/There’s also a free consultation from your head stylist sporting the latest waist cincher/A chest of straight, synthetic hair/A mountain of no-lye relaxers/but aloe gel to soothe the scalp anyway/ A flat iron for the kinks/ A wavy iron for the coils/ A rainbow of hair rollers for the stretch/and a blow dryer just to be sure/A hundred black bobby pins to hold you together/and if that doesn’t work/way in the back past the bathroom door/ there’s the private room/for the removal of all self. 

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