Dinner With My Parents, Jenna Vélez

Jenna Vélez

“Dinner With My Parents” was originally published in Vessel Press (2018). It is also included in Derelict Vol. 1.

I let him touch what
His tongue couldn’t handle
Fingers like white mentos rolls
Grabbing spice from the new world 

            “What do your people call this?”

He chewed like my love depended on it 

            “A regular Tuesday night”

Licking my lips clean from my salted sins
He prefers the sugared slime of
My tongue like maduros
Plantain core like black rotted spine
Like ants on a grapevine
Pulled from gringo teeth 

He eats immaturely yet he speaks the language
With an eagerness to impress
The same way I let his greased fingers
Sneak up my tablecloth thigh like slug trails
Maybe the Spanish lace I hid between
Mesa blanca will make him stay for dessert


Jenna Vélez is an emerging queer Latinx poet from suburban Philadelphia. Her work has been featured or forthcoming in over a dozen literary magazines and journals. She is currently a columnist at Pussy Magic Press and a reader for Awkward Mermaid Lit Mag. She tweets @northernbruja and can be found at jennavelez.weebly.com.

Derelict Vol. 1—Print Zine
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Derelict Vol. 1—Print Zine
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In association with Mythic Picnic (@MythicPicnic on Twitter), Malarkey Books has published its first zine, Derelict Vol. 1, featuring fiction and poetry by Emma Sloley, Jacquelyn Bengfort, Joey Poole, C.C. Russell, Jenna Vélez, and Benjamin Smith. All of the work in this zine is previously published, but the original publishers are all defunct, their websites no longer online.

Profits from this project are being donated to 350 dot org to combat climate change.

Shipping: If you select “Magazine,” $1.42 will be added for shipping. Our unit cost is $2.80. You can get it shipped for free, but we’ll have to take our shipping cost out of the payment before we pass on a donation to 350.

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