Poems by Nicole Hospital-Medina

Black Out

Silvita  pours steamy water from a pot
onto my body,
the snowy porcelain.
Silvita’s hands, crinkly, like the saddle
drizzle drops of sugary bubble bath
iridescent worlds orbit
my little rib cage.
My nervous heart
captive birdie
flickers like the candles
framing this sunburn.
I don’t know where mami and papi are;
the boys are in the other room.
The ranch house tingles with wicks.
Silvita floods my hair.



pieces of the braid

abuela braids starfish into my hair.  we pose for the bone vanity.  Marilyn Monroes hover.  my skeleton. two ages. her various surgeries.  “your blonde body will hook a millionaire,” she seduces my shadow, paws at my sanity.

I braid dog hairs into my eyelashes to make them breathe.  chalky pills, not hard to swallow, finger the thoughts in my wallet.  white fog hugs me.  a consummation of marriage pushes my flamingo out the door.  not a single pink feather.

family sews compliments to my chest, “ay que linda,” “hecha una mujer.” little sparkles I never saw before.  velitas serenade my self-esteem, “I look less boy now right?  less turquoise?  less green? less me?”




I paint an obsession.
I paint an obsession.

I write the obsession.
I write the obsession.

“You are very talented,” she says.

My obsession—
one burgundy circle
in the center of a page.

My pen on the floor,

that bird in the sky.

Nicole Hospital-Medina earned her MFA at the University of Miami where she is now a professor who instructs writing. Her poems can be read in the anthology, Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence, as well as in CURA: A Journal of Art and Action, The Miami Herald, Linden Lane Magazine, Paper Nautilus, Blunderbuss Magazine, The Acentos Review and more.