Poet Joshua Jennifer Espinoza believes language can be both a medium for transformation as well as a way for us to find our own identity. In her own words, Espinoza writes poetry to better understand herself and her position, but she also writes to honor the history that she's part of. In the poem "Things That Make Me Feel Embarrassed", the young poet talks about all those little things that make us feel out of place.
THINGS THAT MAKE ME FEEL EMBARRASSED
Speaking, walking through any crowded room or open
space, asking for help, having a body, complaining about
having a body, not understanding big grad school words,
understanding big grad school words, catching my reflection
in a mirror, listening to the thoughts in my head, considering
any moment in my past, even one second ago when I was
wondering what to say here, and questioning, questioning,
always questioning myself, my intent, is this push towards
healing selfish, am I a selfish person for wanting the tiny
drops of comfort that form on the sphere of glass I keep
around my innermost self, is it a crime to be this sensitive,
should I be leaving the house more, oh no, now I’m sad,
is it wrong to feel sad, where is my labor going, oh no,
I didn’t answer that text, didn’t respond to those emails,
was too busy dying, convinced I was dying, whatever,
the other day a stranger caught me standing out beneath
the sun and smiling with my eyes shut at the warm
breath of wind upon my face and oh god I was so
embarrassed I erased the moment, dropped the
catharsis, abandoned my relief for the pigeons
and flies to feast upon with love.
Originally published by NY Tyrant.
Photos by @Deanastacia.