A Mouth is Not a Place | Leila Ortiz

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 Leila Ortiz was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Leila is of Puerto Rican, Cuban and Irish descent and works in NYC public schools as a social worker. She is the author of the chapbook Girl Life (Recreation League, 2016). 





In this poem I’m exquisite,

crushed ice inside a glass, like,

I’m fluent in Spanish and dance,

I go weeks without feeling sad. I dip

into a split no problem, my heart

is a roller rink with blinking lights,

my teeth are always clean and bright. I never

say like except when necessary, like

I kill it intellectually. I’m a fucking star.

I’m always up for socializing,

really. I don’t hate myself or feel

awkward. I know all of my gifts.

Take you for instance, I can tell

you really love me, and like, I never

feel abandoned or worried or can’t sleep

or wake up cranky. My diet is stupendous:

kale and broccoli and water and shit.

My womb is super hopeful to be

a woman, to have a vagina and never

get raped, like, I’m fucking unbreakable.