When I grow up

When I was young I used to want to be a singer 

But my mother said, Mija that job is not for you 

Successful singers are not usually brown, Try something else. 

So I wanted to be a baker and open up my own Panadería. 

But my mother said No, mija that job doesn’t make money, try again. 

When I was in fifth grade I decided I wanted to be a writer 

And my best friend Dulce would do the illustrations. 

But then phones started evolving and no one read anymore. 

It wasn’t cool. 

In seventh grade I wanted to be pretty...

And my mom didn’t tell me no this time. 

So I began to forgo meals. Eat an orange for lunch. 

When you’re strong enough you can shorten it to half. 

Soon I was eating only one piece and pretending I was full. 

I started getting compliments on how I looked so slim, in dance. 

But this only encouraged me to want to be more thin. 

Bones are beautiful, can’t you see ! 

I’m creating a masterpiece with my body. 

They don’t understand , they want me to be fat. 

I’m just trying to arrive at my goal. 

Eat, just eat, why don’t you eat, they say 

NO. I have to be skinner for ballet 

Thinner. Thinner. Thinner. no Mom, there’s nothing wrong with your dinner 

I just want the top of my arm to be the size of a quarter and

I just need my thighs to have a gap when I sit down 

I just need to drown myself in dance and continue body conditioning

the addiction deafeningly loud but no one was listening 

no, I am not addicted to food

but I am addicted to the rush of starving. 

Im addicted to the feeling. 

And no one talks about that. So it makes it more okay. 

Even though now I want to be strong and independent and smart 

and I know looks aren’t a reflection of the soul 

the little girl still creeps back into my head 

wanting to be pretty. 



This poem is about: 
My community


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