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, were published by Tia Chucha Press. She is a CantoMundo fellow and has served as a contributing poetry editor for Kweli Journal. Some of her latest work can be read in Entropy Magazine, Coiled Serpent, Altadena Anthology 2015 & 2016, and a forthcoming anthology of Afro-Latino poetry published by Arte Público Press. Currently, she lives in the Los Angeles area with her three children.


     Botswana, Beats & Bushmen

Luivette Resto

At the art exhibit
she overhears a conversation
between the curator and an ardent art buyer,
a clinical psychologist.

The doctor has returned from
Botswana where the tribesmen say
trauma can be extracted
from the body and spirit
with dance and bodies circled around a fire
warmer than blood.

The eavesdropper closes her eyes
and her feet move up and down
to an imaginary drumbeat

           ball to heel
           heel to ball
           ball to heel

memories of a father
forgetting to pick up his daughter
on a typical humid Sunday afternoon,
the itchy blue taffeta dress
incubating the seeds of rage and resentment

           what man will love her
           if the first one doesn’t

memories of taking car keys away from her mother
at the vecino’s graduation party,
where she becomes parent
after the third round of Long Island Teas

memories needed the beats of Botswana
trapping them in a circle
of music created from the hands
of healers where case studies don’t exist.

Playing House

Luivette Resto


It wasn’t my house or

It was an out of town lesbian couples’
whose Frida Kahlo artwork
we wished we owned,
discussed it as if it was
our cute story of how we found it.

I set the table
like it was ours,
with the Chinese take-out you brought,
poured unoaked Chardonnay in their glasses
as we sipped and talked
about our exhausting days.

I washed the dishes and goblets
as the word honey
wanted to spill out of my mouth like the delta
and your shoulders leaned
on the kitchen threshold
like they were holding up the house.

You came up behind me
kissed me by their bookcase
as we ran our fingers along spines,
reviewed classics we’ve both read.

Tired like working couples,
we took a nap
in their bed,
as my breathing pattern
changed against your chest,
as we pretended
this was our everyday life.