Helen Rodriguez


When someone no longer loves you,

treat yourself like a dress

that no longer flatters you.
unzip your skin, from head to toe, and step out of it. 
Don't look at the bleeds, scars,

or scabs on the floor, they stay there.
Pick up the skin and put it on a hanger.

Make sure it goes in the back of your closet

where you keep everything else
that doesn't fit you anymore. 
Walk out of this naked. 
Strangers love nude things.
They will dress your body with stares

that will make your vagina blush.
They will whistle you into a wanted orgasm.
Freedom will smell and taste like a new lover’s neck.

It will seem as though time stopped

and the sky filled your self-esteem

with air that your old lover knocked out of you.
Rock that look.

Say goodbye to the man that left you feeling battered.
Swallow the taste like a sex you never had because you

are literally out of that body you once knew.
Abuse looks best tossed on the side of the road.



Born and raised in New York City’s Spanish Harlem, Puerto Rican artist Helen Rodriguez now lives in Miami, Florida where she performs spoken word poetry in and around South Florida. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Johnson & Wales University, where she works as an Administrative Professional in the College of Arts and Sciences. She coordinates the university’s popular, annual Poetry Slam and guest lectures in select Literature classes. She also facilitates poetry workshops for at risk youth and teaches therapy writing to victims of domestic violence, drug addiction and abuse. Helen is currently working on a bilingual work-book for preschoolers and a mini documentary about drug addiction and alcoholism, but her most rewarding role of all is being a Mom to her son, Michael. She will soon be an author to her first chapbook, Pistanthrophobia, expected to be published in the fall of 2016, a mosaic of sharp images that describe culture, heartache and redemption. 

© The Acentos Review 2016