Irene Pérez



Dear Goddess of Abundance  

Lakshmi: you are no beauty. For example,

four arms is repulsive, no matter the grace

two hold up an 8-petal rose. 

The flesh below your belly button

is too much fluff even for Latina magazine.

Your breasts, Ms. Abundance, sag down like sausages,  

and spread wide apart

exposing too much heart.

Your hair has never been cut when it should be your short, 

round legs that had that length.

You stand proud on top of a pink lotus--

that’s also not becoming: beauty  

requires you be cheerless and dull.

And do you not know pornography is out

but plastic surgery in?  

Showing through the watery silk robe you wear,

I see the bends the eternal flower

leaves traced between your legs: 

The triangle is out of fashion, Dear.

We no longer believe

in any final revelation. 

Labiaplasty can fix your outdated geometry, Lakshmi.

He will curb the circle that contains

the square that holds the hidden center: 

We are made today

of another sort of emptiness.

Didn’t you know? 

1 Poems


Irene Pérez is a public school teacher in the Bronx. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Writing and English Literature from Columbia University. She completed two Master’s programs, one in Spanish and Latin American Literature, the other in Childhood Education and Literacy. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Ardent, Mangrove, Gulfstreaming Magazine, Long Shot, The Américas Review, The Bilingual Review. She has written non-fiction pieces for Somos Padres: A Newsletter for Parents and Educators, LatinGirl Magazine and Críticas. She is currently working on her first novel.