Angelina Sáenz


Born and raised in urban Los Angeles, Angelina Sáenz is a poet whose work focuses on memory, mujeres and motherhood. A public school teacher in LAUSD, she is eternally inspired by the daily dynamics of family life, classroom and community. She is a UCLA Writing Project fellow, an alumna of the VONA/Voices Workshop for Writers of Color and a Macondo Writer’s Workshop Fellow. Her work has appeared in venues such as Diálogo, Split this Rock, Angels Flight Literary West and every other. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and hosts the monthly poetry reading series, La Palabra, in Northeast Los Angeles. ‬‬

Humidity transports me

                  to musty brick homes along dusty roads
                  moist sunrise rooster calls
                  ragged dogs roaming on roofs

                  to Tepic, Nayarit

Neighbors in my Tia’s living room tiendita call


I turn in stinky sheets dried on rainy clothes line

Muffled kitchen voices and clinging of dishes
Chancla shuffles on concrete floor and fan’s soft whir
ease me into waking hours  

Uncle paces in and out of floral curtain doorway
judging my lazy yanqui-ass for still being in bed
at 6am

Sidewalk broom bristles to dark men
in thin button-up shirts and sooty slacks
Cracked feet in worn huaraches and calloused hands
load up triciclos de carga
Elote helados tamales frutas flores 

Unforgiving tropical sun angrily shines
on walk along uneven cobble-stone street 

Human mass on bus radiates moisture
The deaf and mute guitarist
who has memorized death climb
up rusty stairs plays random strings and screams
from the top of his lungs into my hot ears

Helado de limón nos refresca en la sombra de los guayabos en la plaza central

Nos subimos a un taxi
ventanas medias abiertas
nubladas por la humedad 


                  Parallel dimension

And I’m not talking about damp
I’m not talking about 

                  San Sebastián
                  San Francisco

 I’m talking about tropical humidity

                  When it is not humid
                  my feet are on the ground
                  I am working mothering writing hustling 

                   But this morning I am waterside in Miami

                   The mist crawls across the ocean

as humidity wraps my heart in banana leaves




Estoy sola

en la terraza del hotel en Panajachel
sorbiendo café con vista a los volcanes
Atitlán, Tolimán y San Pedro 

En la superficie del lago
el sol da luz a diamantes
Las bugambilias dan cuadro a mi melancolía
mientras leo a nuestro querido Rubén Darío
en aquella mesita de madera
cubierta de corte Maya 

Rubén escribe           
                  Sin mujer la vida es pura prosa

©The Acentos Review 2020