The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Naty and My Chaotic Stench by Shey Rivera Rios

“jíbara bruja”

Soy bruja
witch that perches on avocado trees
with talones de gallina de palo.

Talons of an iguana slowly climbing branches to get a taste of our fruit.

Talons of a rooster trained to fight to defend my honor.
I am most comfortable under the rainstorms that make the montes sweat
and birth streams.

I can see that you have

eyes of el guaraguao (the hawk) as it soars with its kind over mountains,
ears of el mucaro (the owl) listening to the rustle of palm trees.

The skirts of the island have been lifted
and a leather belt has licked her skin, left trails of red, blue, black
to replace our flag.

This is a funeral.

With all its intricate ornaments and multicolored blossoms,
it is still a funeral.

My jíbara spirit is a magnetic field
cradled in the plantain breasts of the forest.

I can only follow its call.

It sounds like thunder and rides the back of wild horses.
Yes, we’ve got wild horses.

Tell me,
where are you from?

Did you get here on purpose?

Where are you headed?

What are your dreams made of?
Mine taste like rain.

This selection comes from the book, Naty and My Chaotic Stench, available from Anomalous Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Shey Rivera Ríos (pronouns: they/them) is a multi- genre artist and arts manager. They are active in the mediums of performance, installation, digital media, and poetry/narrative. The creations span several genres and a myriad of topics, from home to capitalism to queerness to magic. Rivera is also a performance curator and producer of interventions that activate people creatively. Participation in national organizations include: member and alumni of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artist Communities, fellow of the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) 2017-2018, and Brown University Public Humanities Community Fellow 2017-2019. Rivera has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, and graduate studies in Contemporary Media and Culture from the University of the Sacred Heart, San Juan, Puerto Rico.



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