Published on Academy of American Poets (

All of Us

Every day I am born like this—
No chingues. Nothing happens
for the first time. Not the neon
sign that says vacant, not the men
nor the jackals who resemble them.
I take my bones inscribed by those
who came before, and learn
to court myself under a violence
of stars. I prefer to become demon,
what their eyes cannot. Half of me
is beautiful, half of me is a promise
filled with the quietest places.
Every day I pray like a dog
in the mirror and relish the crux
of my hurt. We know Lilith ate
the bones of her enemies. We know
a bitch learns to love her own ghost.


Copyright © 2018 by Erika L. Sánchez. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 27, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem comes from anger and how one can use it to cultivate resistance. As I continued to revise, I realized that I was also writing about the #MeToo movement, what it means to be a woman in this culture. How do we cope with the violence we inherit?”
—Erika L. Sánchez


Erika L. Sánchez

Erika L. Sánchez is the author of Lessons on Expulsion (Graywolf Press, 2017).

Date Published: 2018-04-27

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