The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Leonora Simonovis-Brown


                                                          Whether you like it or not, you are a child of fire. You
                                                          descend from the Dragon, descend from the Phoenix.
                                                          Your blood is older than England, older than Castille.
                                                                C. Dale Young. “The Dragon and the Phoenix”


My sister tells me I’m too dark, the sun will never hurt me. I want
                        to prove her wrong. Light pummels the floorboards, dreams taste like ocean water

I tear the scab of last night’s insomnia. I was the sun’s eye,
            a black hole zooming into a sanguine world, heat waves  
                        dancing off concrete walls

Once I had a Black Barbie. A gift accompanied by a smirk and a
                        negra para una negra.  I lopped her hair short – like Halle Berry’s–
            only I didn’t know about dark beauty and Black Power

I want to sear pain with fire, but pain is the ghost of a litany,
            a Christmas past wrapped in a hot pink box,  
                        and a Black Barbie’s Pepsodent smile.

Pupils swimming in a sea of white sclera holding back the rage.  
            Scales rain like ashes into my sister’s cigarette tray, mixed with the ashes of
                        unknown ancestors’ bones scattered into anthills across the world.

Bone marrow sucked by white teeth. White on white on black on ash,
            our version or the Lord’s mighty dirt.

            Everything’s the same after the fire.




LEONORA SIMONOVIS-BROWN grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and currently lives in San Diego, CA. She has published literary articles and essays in peer-reviewed journals in the US and abroad. She currently teaches Spanish language as well as courses on immigration, race, gender, and ethnicity at the University of San Diego. The American Journal of Poetry is pleased to present her first publication of poetry. 



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