The City Is Afraid Of Me by Luivette Resto

Dog carcass in alley this morning tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘Save us!’…and I’ll look down and whisper ‘No.’”—Rorschach, The Watchmen


Luivette Resto, a mother, teacher, poet, and Wonder Woman fanatic, was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico but proudly raised in the Bronx. Her two books of poetry Unfinished Portrait and Ascension have been published by Tía Chucha Press. She is a CantoMundo fellow. Some of her latest work can be read in Cultural Weekly and in a forthcoming anthology titled What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump published by Northwestern University Press. Currently, she lives in the Los Angeles area with her three revolutionaries.


It doesn’t know what to do with messy people like me
who drown in the filthy rivers of self-doubt

as butterflies stare at my thoughts
silently granting me permission to bathe in my own tears,
tasting the choices from my skin
revisiting stories in the crevices of my mind

I don’t want to be saved
I whisper to them
let me sit here with my rightful denouement
their wings stroke my face
convincing me the gutters are no place
even for the messy
living in this faceless city

all of us are born to love.

The Acentos Review 2019