3 poems by Vanessa Angelica Villarreal – The Feminist Wire

3 poems by Vanessa Angelica Villarreal



my story begins in water——

casita in a dark between seas


a palace of ribs

you begun in me



as a breath in glass


………..and still we step


inside the monster

crib our young in its teeth


pull a thread through

rib & spine & sinew


……… bride the rivers


& spill & spill until we spread

like a flood





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Ingles Sin Barreras



The counselor says,

…………speak frankly.

Like Frank, a man, a hot dog: American.


I, speaking: A First-Generation Narrative.

            Pero los queremos reflejar tanto, cantar en garganta cruda sus canciones tan grabadas sus promesas debajo de       la piel y cómo cantamos sus alabanzas aunque nos ahogamos
entre nos un golfo una cinta de agua

The counselor says, frankly, your college choices are very selective. Aim lower.

            ¿Oscurecemos, nuestra condición hasta enfermedad— lo que es desear tanto ese salvaje rubio los pinos     oscuros arrodillados floreciendo rio leche de nuestras bocas nube de avispas tan brillantes pero canto el ruido     irrumpe a través de la piel
somos cáncer no flores amapolas oscuras ………..soñamos

First mistake: to believe the commercials for Ingles Sin Barreras, Only 299.99 to speak English without barriers.



vavVanessa Angelica Villarreal is a first-generation American born five miles from the US/Mexico border. Her work has appeared in Caketrain, DIAGRAM, The Western Humanities Review, NANO Fiction, The Colorado Review Online​, and elsewhere​. Her book, Beast Meridian, was a finalist for ​the ​Nightboat, Futurepoem, ​Saturnalia, ​and Willow Books poetry ​prize​s​. She currently lives and works in ​Boulder​, Colorado. Her hometown is Houston, Texas.