Where the curve of my spine
hides beneath

my brown speckled skin                         
I find a tender nodule
flesh in battle
with a pigment-absent space
se pone de pie en guerra                            

 Spanish attempts to conquer
Arabic, a pressing of epidermis
porque somos Católicos                     
history worked

hard to cultivate

a cupped abstraction
on my lower back.

A lone, raised pile of flesh
determined to claim stake                    

in a valley absent
familiar mounds of tissue.

Between my olive branch fingers
I clip the brave avenger,
causing lightening pain
away from the bending                        
a chamoy crimson puddle

E  x  t  e  n  d  s
its gratuitous hum
along the bridge my vertebrae.

Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros is a Tejana poet, writer, and speaker. Her work explores faith and Latinidad and appears or will appear in the following publications: The Acentos Review, Rock & Sling, SheLoves Magazine, The Rumpus, OnBeing, Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity among others. She blogs at