pillow talk for the paperless

By Diana Ayala-Carrillo


you’re not wrong
I, too often
go inside my mind
leaving you behind


how to explain
intimacy does not dissolve


on borrowed time, babe
at the whim of
men in suits
who will never know


The Sacrifice
leaving  family
for a taste of


Cliff divers ready to jump
unaware the sea is coming to a boil


borrowed clothes
borrowed apartments
borrowed lives


what world?
no, but seriously
what is your world?
a galaxy beyond mine
such freedom, travels
are rarely afforded
to us


but yes
no problem!
I reassure you
we are not different
you and i
next Bud and tequila round
Is on me


You always take
I always give


two places at once
more than one job
ingles sin barerras
smoke less, drink more
cash check, wire money
western union dreams


the fear
at arms length
a deportation letter
suits at the door, ready to announce
that the jig is up
this life was never  yours


we stand, disgraced
yet unsurprised
knowing the end near
forever looming 


A recurring dream
of brown men and women
standing on a vast dirt road
tears streaming down their face
violently crying out to their mothers
for forgiveness


when I awake
I think of my father’s hands 


But one morning
I swear to you
I see myself as child
on the front page of the Times
round faced brown child, straight black hair
weeping for her mother


we will never know
exactly how much of her
dissolved in that moment
but yet
we come to this place
and will continue to do so


pray for us


This poem was written in response to the exhibition I Come To This Place, which was on view the summer of 2019 at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, NY.

Diana Ayala-Carrillo is a photographer, writer, and curator in the past working at Artforum now living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has shown in Rockrgrl Magazine, at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens, and in Culturework Magazine, among others. She has curated exhibitions and screenings at Outpost, Gallery 1412, and Spring/Break Art Show, focusing on interdisciplinary artists working in photography, video, performance, and installation.