Victoria Muñoz-Lepore



Victoria Muñoz-Lepore, aka Vicky Munyoz, was raised by a Nuyorican mother and Italian-American father in Medford, Massachusetts and currently resides in Queens. She has dedicated the majority of her adult years to mastering Spanish, and in 2011 graduated with an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College. She teaches Spanish to high school students in Brooklyn with language-based learning disabilities through storytelling and theatre with a thematic focus on Latin American histories. Vicky's poems have appeared in Fallujah Magazine, and her work has explored and mourned the often nonsensical and tragic worlds we find ourselves in through an unabashadely American lens. You can follow her on Medium @vickymunyoz.



june 21st

bids farewell to

5 am wake-ups

daily hellos how are yous

coffees with extra milk, please                      and on repeat


it bids adiós to

my ongoing pondering cada potential detalle                            

of how to teach the forgotten lados of                                 

la Historia de Puerto Rico

to a group of soon to be high school graduates

for whom this might be their last chance


I wrestle with the transition

because it’s over

and we barely made it to 1917

you know, the part where islanders become

non-voting soldiers


I wrestle

because they’ll vacation in Porto Rico

and enchanting beachscapes with

spoonfuls of no passport needed

amnesia and numbness will congeal


and then

the sun comes out to play

and I surprise myself when

I almost forget  

my café con leche fix


the sun is on

full blast and out

to celebrate


it splashes

first day of summer

New York City sidewalks


it induces

a solstice trance                               

feeling like it’s midday                                 and on repeat

like a Hector Lavoe song que nunca tiene su final



I bask

before needing

a Starbucks shot

of AC

and open-to-the-public bathroom


passion fruit sweetened iced tea,

(it’s too hot for café con leche)

graces my heat, my summer rhythm

while securing a future run

for another cold respite and pee break


when I return as promised  

to an occupied bathroom

I wait

I wait which means

I take out my phone                                          and scroll


images and

short blurb bios


with the latest newly minted hashtags

#Orlando #Pulse


too many last names ending in Z

Velázquez, Rodríguez, Menéndez,

too many proud and hiding

Pérez, Fernández, Cruz

too many from the Rich Port colony                  too many


the neverending bathroom line

doesn’t invite the sun

and my passion fruit iced tea

starts to taste of 1898

sugar plantations swishing in my mouth


the enclosed public bathroom smells

lay dead in the artificial modern cold air

and the jíbaro’s lament flickers                                                        

y el pueblo está lleno de necesidad

ay, de necesidad               


the history lessons

I remember


the ones I rushed through

wishing I hadn’t


because will the kids

really get it?

qué será de mi Borinquén, mi Dios querido                     

will I?

will we?


have they been dying for everyone

but themselves since we saved them?


have we been dying for everyone

but ourselves since they saved us?


I scroll and sip

I don’t hold my...


“estoy jodida”

like my abuelita said on her final breath

on la isla del encanto

I am fucked

so too is the island

it’s people

who fled

to the barrios

of New York, South Florida etc.

only to die

with (some voting) dignity


the forgotten boricua in me

back to sipping hot café con leche

starts to remember, wonder,

“if only we hadn’t cut so much 20th century sugar cane

Starbucks wouldn’t be so addictively sweet?”


she scrolls on                                                    far away

from the sidewalks

from the longest day of the year

and further into the already lost lives

of fellow borincanxs


© The Acentos Review 2017