from PROCESS, by Candy Alexandra González

Candy Alexandra is a Latinx papermaker, printmaker, book artist and young poet from Miami, Fl. She began writing creatively in 2015. During a letterpress workshop, she was encouraged to write for her visual work. After resisting and eventually giving in to gentle encouragement, she wrote her very first poem and loved it. In her visual and written work, Candy Alexandra captures the essence of her experiences as a first generation Latinx immigrant in the United States.

Candy Alexandra received her BA in Romance Language and Literature from Mount Holyoke College in 2014 and her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from The University of the Arts in 2017.

Poems from Process 


Our bones possess innate wisdom,
finely tuned by natural selection.
Made to survive. This, I learned
from my mother as a child.
P r e s e n t i m i e n t o s,
she called them, those moments
when our gut tenses and tightens
and tightens and our breath
our breath becomes lost somewhere
between our heart and our mouth and our eyes
our eyes see only darkness.

Presentimientos sometimes come and go so quickly
they’re mistaken for physical anomalies. Other times
we dismiss them; we don’t like the reality we see.

The last time I felt
un presentimiento,
I drowned it in denial.
Each day, the sky grew darker,
darker, until the heavens burst open
above me.

Do you believe in premonitions?
I do.


How do you feel?
I’m fine; I’m okay

These words tend to roll
down my tongue too easily
too automatically, almost thoughtlessly,
            like a passing greeting to a neighbor.

I almost forgot the blood staining
the rag wrapped around my hand
on the day of the accident. I was
so concerned about comforting
those around me, I almost forgot
the pain, pain that became too familiar,
never tolerable.

I wore a lying smile on my face that day,
as I was prodded by foreign hands,
as I was buried under probing questions.
I wore a smile to hide
the near collapse of my pride,
to hide the stubborn tears
threatening to escape.
It wasn’t until I was alone, in bed
that I let those tears have their way
with me.

How did I smile that day?
When all I wanted to do was howl
loud, so loud my voice alone
would cause the sky to cave-in.
The answer is en mi sangre.

I descend from
a long, resilient line
of women named
Maria, who hide
            their pain in the crease
            between their brows
who only cry
            in the dark
who carry the worry
            of their familia on their backs
who have become hunched
            by the weight of it all
who wear lying smiles
            in the face of every challenge
            in front of their children.

I wear that smile too often.
A crack is growing
at the corner of my mouth.


if only I could be
the master of memories
so vivid, so obtrusive
que me consumen
que se me dificulta el respirar
they’re ragweeds
ubiquitous in my sleep
I can’t blink them away
cada segundo es infinito

I pray for
the ability to manipulate
mis pensamientos like I would
a blank sheet of paper
borrar las cicatrices or
cover them up
with a red cross

algunos recuerdos los
quisiera enllavar, contenerlos
al fondo del mar
along with the pain
along with the grief
along with the fear
Lupita, I pray
and I pray and I pray
and I pray and I pray
but I’m falling prey
to the ragweeds