Latina Hillary

Gloria Muñoz

wants to shout ¡Sí, se puede!
from the podium but she’s
too afraid her ratings
will plunge so she purses
her lips between sentences
and posts only photos of maple
trees, though inside she’s all
palmas and papayas. She wears
navy and white. She reins in
her accent, undoes the echo
in her Rs. She eats granola and yogurt
behind sunglasses, gets blonder
highlights because polls
say her hair’s too ratty;
a recent focus group called it
witchy. She obliges, for the ratings,
though the bleach makes
her hair fall out and now she
has to wear a wig. The media
calls it her helmet. She just isn’t warm
enough, you know, like Latinas
should be, someone tweets
from Utah. She develops a twitch
and has to go into tanning beds
to scream beneath a canopy
of 220 watt bulbs. She persists
in her day-glow skin and white
suits and pleas to la Virgen
de Guadalupe each night
of her Bible Belt tour.
Billboards display her
as a bombastic dragoness.
She has too much bite,
a man tweets from Virginia,
too much fire. She ices up
with Botox and presses
sapphires into her brown
eyes. They flash open
backstage before the big debate.
White light bounces off her white suit
and she strides through the fog and blaring
to the podium. Her shadow,
long and lean, is extraterrestrial.

Gloria Munoz headshot


Gloria Muñoz is a Colombian-American writer and translator. She is the author of Your Biome Has Found You and Danzsirley/Dawn’s Early, which was selected for the Academy of American Poet’s 2019 Ambroggio Prize and is forthcoming from ASU’s Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe in 2020. She was recently part of the inaugural Tin House YA Writers Workshop. Gloria teaches creative writing at Eckerd College.