top of page

The Bridge*


the earth (will be) hard on my back.
my body is my body every part of it.
then the river—the part made from Pepsi cola.
distant drums very present. The cry of things dim.
distant drums very present. The cry of things dim.

you can perhaps see how bare and strange a tree can be for me.
“If you’re going to treat me like a nut, I’ll act like a nut.”
women looked stern and critical—unfriendly and cold.
I don’t want to obey her any longer.
I have still been obeying her.

consciously make effort to relax brows, temples,
areas around the mouth. collapse cheeks, shoulders, jaws.
it’s very probable that being sincere is stupid.
I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife.
I can and will help myself and work on things analytically.

impatience from cab drivers always driving who must drive.
they have always reminded me of young slender trees
still growing & painful.
I can and will channel it + crazy thoughts too.

then trying to build myself up with the fact
that I have done things right but the bad is heavier.
let go of my eyes, keeping a giggle inside,
walking peaceful with all those cars going crazy underneath.
my beaded rays have the colors I’ve seen in paintings,

and I am many stories.


*The Bridge is a cento composed of lines by Marilyn Monroe from Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012).

A True Account of Talking to the Recently Chopped Up Royal Poinciana (after Frank O'Hara's "A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island")

I was walking my dog, Bodhi, who was pulling my arm off as usual, when we noticed a pile of
limbs and a heart that seemed nonoperational. Immediately, I blamed all of Miami and all of its
humans and a culture that doesn’t care about trees that have been alive longer than all of them.
“Hey, I’m still here,” she whispered (let’s make her female since females tend to get chopped up
more often). Bodhi’s head tilted sideways and his tail stopped. I squatted to look more closely at
the heart. Upon a more attentive glance, there was some pink glowing. “Before I die completely,
which will be any second now, I just want you to know, I enjoyed seeing you in the mornings.
Bodhi seems like a very good boy.” Bodhi peed on one of the branches. “I will miss your
flowery mess,” I returned. “That’s nice to hear. I think that’s why they killed me,” she exhaled,
“I hope that maybe…” The glowing stopped. I wiped my eyes. I had to finish Bodhi’s walk and
get to work.


Nicole Hospital-Medina is a Cuban-American writer who earned her MFA at the University of Miami where she now instructs writing. Her poems can be read in the anthologies, Poems from the Lockdown, Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility, Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence, as well as in journals, CURA: A Journal of Art and Action, The Miami Herald, Linden Lane Magazine, Paper Nautilus, Blunderbuss Magazine, The Acentos Review, Canyon Voices, The Mother Egg Review and more. She is the inaugural winner of the Miami Herald O’Miami Haiku contest. Her paintings have been featured in Linden Lane Magazine and as cover art for her collaborative chapbook, Myth America, in collaboration with poets, Carolina Hospital, Maureen Seaton and Holly Iglesias. She is currently enjoying the undertakings of being a surfer mom and writing children’s picture books while maintaining her identity as a poet-activist.

bottom of page