Questions for My Admirer

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

Who are you and why have you come here / Do you know me / Why are you touching
me / Do you want / Me or are you here to end / Me / Take a seat don’t bother asking /
Notice the softness of my neck / I’ve been waiting for someone’s teeth / To explain to
me who I am / Are you hungry or / Can I get you some water / I can open my mouth
and give you / Water if it would make you happy / But you want something redder /
Something thicker / Something less eager to become air when spilled / You think this is
the only way / To get to know me / Why do you want this / I am so unlike what is in
me / What is in me knows nothing about me / Go outside and talk to the sidewalk /
Press your tongue against circles of flattened gum and / Taste what it is to be
public-bodied /  Ask the palm tree on the corner what she thinks of my predicament /
What she’d do in my soft-heavy boots / Let the lamppost talk to you about last night’s
dream of men’s hands reaching / Towards me / Reach your hand / Towards the broken
glass in the road / And know me

What Is Left To Say

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

Bed is heavy, dense.
I’ve kept here so well.
Hip is a wind-bent tree.
In the nerves lies a springtime of life.
Pain. That is all.
I tell it with my lips in an O.
I carry it in slow motion.

I enter the room
when I remember I exist.

I feel my knees
slip back into place
as I recall my entire.
I acknowledge my all

As I struggle to turn me over.
“We are women.
In this moment, more than ever,
Are we women.”

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza headshot

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet living in California. Her work has been published in The American Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, West Branch,‘s Poem-a-Day, and Buzzfeed, among others. She is also the author of two poetry collections: I’m Alive / It Hurts / I Love It (2014; 2nd edition via Big Lucks in 2019), and THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS (CCM 2016). She is currently an MFA candidate at UC Riverside.