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Read the Writing





Photo by Yvonne M. Estrada

Read the Writing

Read the writing on the cinder block wall:

Joker, Jasper, Dopey, Termite, Tokes, Crow.

It’s not an “is it art?” debate, at all;

these are the monochromatic zip codes

of my gangster, tattooed, sharp-creased cousins.

Scribbled in black on a bus bench, strangled

names crossed out, over names crossed out again,

red under yellow under green tangled

like wire. Memo, Cowboy, Flyboy, Topper.

Neil Armstrong planted a flag on the moon;

it can’t be seen from their clearly marked world

where, if you don’t live there, you better run.

Tight fence of paint, like barbed wire that’s hidden.

Trespassed borders end lives, I’m not kidding.


Source:  My Name on Top of Yours (2013), published by Silverton Books.

Yvonne M. Estrada is a poet and photographer. She works as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for the County of Los Angeles. Her photos have been exhibited at the Vincent Price Art Museum and Avenue 50 Studio. Her poems have appeared in publications including Pulse Magazine, Verse Wisconsin, and Talking Writing, and anthologies including Mischief, Caprice and Other Poetic Strategies. Poems and photos are brought together in her chapbook My Name on Top of Yours.

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