Ayendy Bonifacio


Ayendy Bonifacio was born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. He is currently a doctoral candidate in English at The Ohio State University. Bonifacio teaches writing and composition courses with themes of nineteenth-century U.S Literature, Latinx writers, print culture, and poetry. His articles and poems are published in Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism, Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature, The Journal: A Literary Magazine, Juked, aaduna, and other journals. Bonifacio is also the author of Dique Dominican (2017) published by Floricanto Press/Berkeley Press, which was named "Top Ten Best Non-Fiction Books for 2017" by TheLatinoAuthor.com. Bonifacio is currently completing his dissertation, Poetry and the Popular Press 1856-1898 and a chapbook, tentatively titled The Immigrant Spiritual. 

Twitter: @AyendyBonifacio 

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Website: www.ayendybonifacio.com 

Mi Taita 

Coarse, but fine, cleanly shaven
strict disciplinarian, who grew up
among tangy orchards: mi taita. 

Time has made us strange to one another.
We are those changing things. 

And between us really nothing has changed.
My name is my name, yours is yours. So, what is it then? 

You were a beacon of looming promise—a
statue of freedom that I stopped believing in. 

Mi taita, why are you a myth to me now?
Does that make me one too? 

The flesh must first harden then turn to dust.
In that sense, we all share an ending. 

The statue still looms over deep ocean blues.
But we don’t pass by it anymore. Not like we used to. 

You don’t mean that to me anymore. Part of me apologizes
the other part does not because the ocean has moved 

in that familiar way since before language. 

The years have gone since you lifted us
from our native soil, planting us here for this to grow. 

Taita, they say the Spanish coined your name in 1492
and since then, niños y niñas find comfort in their taitas.  

But I know because the waters don’t lie
that Kenya created you, and me. 

Taita, you are my fatherland, my sense of nation—
now severed. But the flesh must harden, and I too must
return to the beginning of all things.

© The Acentos Review 2018