Today’s post features an excerpt from a novel-in-verse by slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. The Poet X tells the story of Xiomara Batista, a young Afro-Latina who “feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood.” Deep down, Xiomara has a lot of things to say. Will she be able to let her voice heard?
I marked a few pages from the book but decided to share one that accurately paints a picture of Xiomara. I included the short excerpt below because I like the imagery that Elizabeth Acevedo used. If you haven’t already, check your local library and reserve a copy of The Poet X today!
My brother was birthed a soft whistle:
quiet, barely stirring the air, a gentle sound.
But I was born all the hurricane he needed
to lift—and drop—those that hurt him to the ground.
Poetry Friday is hosted this week
by Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink!
I am unhide-able.
Taller than even my father, with what Mami has always said
was “a little too much body for such a young girl.”
I am the baby fat that settled into D-cups and swinging hips
so that the boys who called me a whale in middle school
now ask me to send them pictures of myself in a thong.
The other girls call me conceited. Ho. Thot. Fast.
When your body takes up more room than your voice
you are always the target of well-aimed rumors,
which is why I let my knuckles talk for me.
Which is why I learned to shrug when my name was replaced
I’ve forced my skin just as thick as I am.
Video courtesy of Epic Reads