Around the World: Voces Fieras, Costa Rica

Jun 14, 2021 | 2021 Spring- Role Models, Around the World, Poetry

Voces Fieras (Fierce Voices) is a spoken word poetry group formed by sexual and gender dissident folx. As a group, Voces Fieras facilitates creative workshops and organizes artistic events. All of these spaces are means to work on healing the wounds of gender and sexual dissident women and non-binary people. Voces Fieras also holds workshops to create a digital online feminist magazine called La Rebelde (The Rebel), and is always looking to create networks and collaborate with other folx in the region. You can find Voces Fieras on Instagram and Facebook @vocesfieras. We share here two poems by members of this group:

They tell me “Your body is a temple.”

By Jimena Cascante

And I wonder, what kind of temple does an atheist go to?
They tell me “Your body is a temple”
And I see the temples I went to as a child
Where I couldn’t be me
Where I wasn’t accepted
I grew up around temples full of hate
Temples that scared off my grandma
Temples full of lies and scary stories
Where my trans brothers and sisters were not accepted
Where I would be nothing but a sinner
Where Punishment was for most but forgiveness just for some

They tell me your body is a temple
But I’d rather be a graffiti-filled wall
I don’t want to die a blank canvas.
Every tattoo in my body tells my story
I will not be shamed

You tell me my body is a temple
I’d rather be an abandoned building,
Occupied by the revolution

They tell me “Your body is a temple”
My body is no temple
I don’t want to be ivory white
I would rather be art
And not high art
I don’t want to be hung on a museum wall

I’d rather be
A bad poem written in broken english,
A painting filled with bodoquitos by a ten-year-old.

You tell me my body is a temple
Do you mean cold and sacred?
I’d rather be flawed,
I’d rather be Human.

Walking: yesterday I dreamed I was traveling

By Sharling Hernández

We think we are on the right side of history
What is the guarantee?
Is there an impartial judgment?

Her pain was real
Her insecurities,
And mine

Sadly, they came bigger
Than the beautiful story we shared

This cycle has ended
And yesterday when I dreamed I was traveling
I remember that I travelled mostly with you

In my dream you were not there
As if I knew, no matter how much I loved you,
You were not to be in my future
We wanted different things
But you wanted yours
And you suffocated me
And were uncomfortable when I did my own thing

To feel this,
Your discomfort
When I had a world beyond you
With others
Chills me
But it is certainly
A clear memory

It’s been exactly a year since I went out with her for the first time.
That story, of the one I could buy a coffee
Who I liked to talk with so much,
Who I like to see so much,
The love in that space was beautiful,
With everything and her occasional bad ways to do things,
For which she afterwards apologized
I reminded her of what is effective responsibility
And she was not willing after a while to have it
It could happen
With honesty and clarity it is appreciated.
I do it.

It’s been a year
Since this story started
That in spite of everything and the anxiety it triggered
It was beautiful when we found ourselves in each other’s arms
I had so much love for you
I still do
But it’s different
I still like you,
I still remember as my favorite the moment
That embrace after many orgasms,
All the way till the midnight
That greeted my birthday

Those embraces
Would be wonderful to repeat
But not the orgasms,
With you, I don’t need them.
They were delicious,
I am grateful,
And I know that is not where I want to find them again

I return to you dear lovers
How many times have I gone back?
How many times have you?

Yesterday I dreamed that I was traveling,
But I don’t want to do it with you,
Walking, I still remember the possibilities I once felt,
I once wanted
But what is certain is that I want to take myself on a walk
To go
To scream and to whisper to myself
As before a mirror
That reveals something obvious in your face
In your manner
In your glassy eyes
In your wet/soaked/dripping nose

I want to walk
With white teeth
With a throat clear
Of words
I want to take myself on a walk
Tour myself
As I toured you
Right here
Never distant
Always loving
Not coward

I want to take myself on a walk
I want to travel myself
I want to start cycles
To embrace myself
To fill myself with orgasms
That may be of cake and peanut butter
That may be of dances
Of the pauses in a rainstorm
Of the deep breaths before I rise

I want to take myself on a walk
To walk the paths
Without reproaches
Without so many anxieties
Without unnecessary and distant silences

I want to take myself on a walk
With warm loves near
But with my own
And to recognize the sadness
Of having abandoned myself
And have a coffee with her
And thank her
And stop together
And welcome midnight

With nothing more but myself
And the light through the blinds
That weighs nothing
That lets everything pass
Because life is short
And I want to be slow
As my sadness wants me to love her
To love me
To know ourselves

Note: this poem was translated from the Spanish by Keja Valens. Find the original at @vocesfieras.

Voces Fieras’ organizers are:

Jimena Cascante (she/her), 30 years old, works as a consultant, studied chemistry, gender, and sustainable development, and holds a M.Sc. in Transnational, Cultural, and Community Studies.

Sharling Hernández (she/her), 30 years old, works as a community psychologist, specializing in working with women and sexually diverse people.

Ang Azofeifa (they/them), works as a content writer, theater director, actress and performer. They hold a B.A. in Dramatic Arts and are currently working on their Master’s thesis in English literature.

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