I remembered the men I had left behind in Los Angeles
While I shared a shotgun house in the 7th ward
With three black women.
Who walked around with shaved heads and gold bracelets dangling on their wrists.
And that summer, we relished one another’s company
On the swampy patio at night,
As we smoked and got drunk and talked about life.
So much so, that I begin to evolve.
Distance does that.
And I swore that when I got back to Los Angeles,
I’d never let the men use me again.
But of course, that all became a distance memory…
The empowered talks on the patio with the daiquiris
With the women and their dangling bracelets.
And I went back to each and every one of these men when I returned.
Struggling without female support,
Having forgotten that I was once worth something to people.
Monica Viera is a Puerto Rican author and painter from East LA. You can find more of her work on www.wordsbymonica.com.