Mary Anne Rojas


Mary Anne Rojas is a Afro-Caribbean poet, essayist, daughter, sister, lover, and activist. She is a recent graduate from SUNY Oneonta with a bachelor’s of English and Africana & Latino Studies. Mary Anne is third of eight children and a survivor of seventeen schools and seven group homes. She has given workshops in various high schools, GED Programs, and JobCorp. She has taught in Ghana, Africa numerous times. Mary Anne has worked very close with the climate and social justice youth movement-organizing marches, vigils, readings and discussions. She is currently working on a chapbook, while hoping to be a M.A candidate for the University of Buffalo for the Cultural Caribbean Studies program. Mary Anne currently is the community manager intern for Power Poetry. 

on Leaving. 

You have been just in the right place for

The right moment, but leaving like this is

The last of my stuff from here. A here that

Was good enough for the olive autumn of

A kiss. Next kiss please. This is the last of

My stuff. And I am leaving. Quick, and be

Done. Done like close the curtains, and pack.

Leave all that shit behind and be leaving, like

Don’t touch me. Take the kids. Take the dream.

Take the music. Leave the bed. That suitcase

Is not big enough. You are leaving because

You are big enough. This right place for the

Right moment is small, not big enough. Leave.

You have been call your mother to talk about

It. Don’t call. No time. You are leaving. Leave.

You have been the day that already left with

The leaving. Why wait. Why cry. Take the

Tears. Cry over there. When you get there.

Call a new wind. Shed the kiss. Pick up your

Island ivory skin. Wear it like you leaving. Leave.

You have been here too long. Don’t wait for

Something not there. Leave. Pack. Pack. Pack.

You are the mop upside down girl. A tea bag on

The go girl. A pictureless wall girl. No family here

girl. You are tired no gas girl. You are leaving with

these fucking wings, and what girl. Leave. Forget

that love. that ain’t no love, let it leave. You have

here and no where else kitchen. You are mother

leaving on her way to mother. You get to mother

by leaving, after the left. You are no left over.

The knife that cuts the vegetables like constellations.

No questions asked, you have always been

Just that. Leave. Leave. You have been a syllable

In a mouth, hiding on a tongue, waiting to

Make sound. You have been no noise in this body.

You have been leaving for years. you have

Been the how to all the how he did it for better

Times than right now, like leaving. Keep leaving.

Don’t think. Leave like yeah you right, no food

Today. Leave today. Today leave. Today is leaving.

Leaving is today. You are today. Today is you.

Leave is today. Today is leave. Leave.



A Cafecito Memoir

Un cafecito to get by, y otro, y otro

Until your tongue is as black as coal

And your breath is a single ringlet of

Smoke—this is lesson number one

From Dominicanas stuck in one bedroom

Apartments, no men, with young sons

Fucking white girls to lose a shade of black.

Un cafecito for the Spanish jokes

That never translate in English, so

Our cries for help sit quietly in the

Walls of our mouths like dead compadres

And comadres photos on bare walls—we

Fold away our flags, mourn la patria y

Los sancochos waiting on the table.

Un cafecito while remembering my

Racist papa, con un machete after

A barefoot Haitian man—trujillo

Taught him well—la verguenza, so

We hide our black voodoo in backyard

Coffee cups, pretend that only Espanoles

Carved here. Un cafecito for la pobre

Vieja next door, whose children have

Left and never ate a single platano again—

Traded her for Americans and statistics.

Un cafecito for the memory of my blood,

The Red heat, la Guerra Civil con todo el

Cono de mi cuerpo. Un cafecito for my

Mama, whose story was left in Las Charcas de

Azua like a fucked up prayer and a dirty

River. Un cafecito for the Manhattan Sundays

Mama seeks widows with wrinkles to

Talk about los tiempos de antes when

Last names came with village and children.

Un cafecito, y otro, y otro for myself—

A descendant of Los Palos, flirtatious skin,

And fucked up Spanish.Un cafecito for the

First time I kissed a white man—how he

Left a poem swimming in my Caribbean

Breath—another cafecito to go to remember

The left behind lovers who still sit

On island drums and campesino love songs.

Un cafecito.

Y otro.

Y otro.

© The Acentos Review 2014