Home Celebrity Conditioning by Tina Dominguez

Conditioning by Tina Dominguez

48
0

Conditioning by Tina Dominguez

Tina Dominguez participated in the first virtual Alegría Poetry Slam on July 18, 2020. Thank you to all the wonderful poets who participated.

I walk through mami’s threshold 

ready for the usual barrage 

of “ugh que tienes puesto”

or one of its siblings 
instead I’m met with

“Aye mija! Why don’t you ever comb this poor girls hair! No es justo, me odia verla así!”


I look down at my 5 year olds perfectly coiffed head

ringlets 

I finger combed 

delicately 

adding just the right proportions 

                                                              of shea leave-in  

                                                               coconut oil 

                                                                & hope 

She has a light halo of frizz 

because curls like life 

nunca son perfectos 

I remember 

being so scared of comb 

so tired of hours
under dryer 

so over salon talks 

about 

“Pelo malo, pelo bueno”

how what I had was good 

it was easily manipulated 

easily made into 

a more acceptable form 

My mother in the corner
Puerto Rican
proud
stern euro-centric features
willing my hair
to match her own
Despite
All my father’s Afro-Dominicano
painted onto my pallor
and coursing
through my curls       
                                                      silky
                                                    smooth
                                                        limp
Look
at how they
so feared us
they left the fire
of colonialism
in our blood

See
how they still
try to burn
all the parts
of us they
cannot
tame

Wonder
at how angry
they be
You so untouched
by magic of melanin
but still so full
of amnesiac ancestor

                                                                  Mejorando la raza
                                                                  pero la raza más fuerte
                                                                  brilla clara
Pelo
de nena Boricua
nena Kiskeyana
piden que se
Cálmate
Compórtate
Cállate ya 

My whole life was straightening 

                                                               my back 

                                                              my tongue

                                                              my attitude 

so fingers could easily run through 

so wind had no barrier 

& warmth became the enemy 

Be more pliable

easily morphed 

easily tied 

Be more likable

less loud 

less emotional 

Straighten up 

Obeja negra 

let them shear those coils 

You might be presentable

underneath 

My daughter 

tried to brush her hair today 

I watched as she learned 

some messes 

are meant unkempt

Some things 
are beautiful in chaos

convoluted coils 

hide mysteries 

meant to remain 

as such 

Slowly 

I worked the stuck brush 

out of her pajon

Gently 

so she would know 
                                                    Que no tiene
                                                      que doler parecer
                                                      a tu madre

It doesn’t have to hurt 

to resemble your mother

Published at Tue, 04 Aug 2020 16:18:16 +0000

Attribution – For more Information here is the Article Post Source: https://alegriamagazine.com/conditioning-by-tina-dominguez/