Kimberly Reyes



Kimberly Reyes is a 2nd-generation New Yorker (black Nuyorican) currently living in California. She received her MA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and was a post-graduate journalism fellow at the Poetry Foundation in 2013, a Callaloo fellow in 2014, and is currently a William Dickey Fellow and MFA candidate in poetry at San Francisco State University. Her nonfiction has appeared in the Associated Press, Entertainment Weekly,, The New York Post, The Village Voice, Alternative Press, ESPN the Magazine, Jane, Honey, NY1 News and The Best American Poetry blog. Her poetry has appeared on The Feminist Wire and in Belleville Park Pages.



On still Saturdays, I’d disappear

into a plush brown

love seat in grandmother’s faded beige  

living room. We’d watch white

dead-eyed, slashers

expose eager, screaming bodies.

Jason, Freddy, and Michael-

masked stowaways

(I understood to be)

birthed beneath the red Atlantic,

explaining gore and the many doors of

no return to a child, prying

for a way back home.


We were one

we were Mestizo Red,

my yellow grandmother and me.

The machete sugarcane bled

Red on the island

dark and Jíbaro, Salinas poor,

Red was the language we spoke,

fertile in storied humility. 

The good Red on the Mainland,

the mixed and other and ancient and othered,

rich ‘got some Indian in me’ reigning Red

whose scorn I


I didn’t know then.


my mutilated being


my maternal brown stain




“why is your last name Reyes?”

“is your husband Spanish?”




Then, we only had the scripted anodyne

Red leaking out of the screen.

©The Acentos Review 2015