A Poem by Marjua Estevez

"Zaira," etching by Colleen Corradi Brannigan

Unforgettable, Too

I grew up in a town where my poetry

was born between the city’s island

and Mami’s soul kitchen on the 6th floor,

it took its voice from graffiti walls and like rhythm,

it steeped itself in the blues.

Bebopping to music made from scratch

I crossed state lines

to, stubbornly, fall in love.

Floating between shooting stars

in southern summer nights

I couldn’t fathom any place

being greater than the greatest city in the world.

The empire of neon and chrome

The sanctuary of bohemia

The primitive grounds of sound

and imagery and the spoken word.

But I love southern waters without knowing

how, or when, or from where.

It’s without complexities or pride

that I surrender to southern skies.

I become sacred all over again

at every sunset.

I rise at dawn to surrender to love

—to southern love, to exude

an inner southern belle, ‘cause I know

the way countrymen love

is like Pacific waves walloping

against wooden boats: a to and fro

motion that syncs with the pulse

of my moans.

My father sang to me once, till the night slithered

its way past us.

Under flowing skirts were gyrating

Marjua Estevez

hips that learned to dance bachata and merengue

so that one day Mr. Man could learn

how my bloodline began.

You see—I’m rooted in el barrio, in the country.

My adoration split between giant skyscrapers

and the soft scent of salt water is a spell

I tenderly give in to…

My city is my anthem,

but the country will always be my story.


Marjua Estevez is a fourth-year Graphic Design student attending Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. She originally hails from the “city that never sleeps,” and has a vivacious passion for the art of writing.  She has published various poems in academic publications. She has interned with The Source magazine and is currently interning with Back\Slash magazine.

    • Martha Estevez said:

      This is my daughter. Like mother, like daughter! keep going

  1. Your words show me the soul of the city,!
    Beautiful, thank you.

  2. the o.g mr man said:


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