Two Poems by Shonté Daniels


Even the Moon


Coyolxauhqui’s body was found, like Sandra Bland, like
Rekia Boyd, like Jessica Hernandez, guiding the sea of stars, leading
the ocean back and forth, endlessly. Coyolxauhqui knew
the dangers of violence and man, begged her mother to not give light
to those who tug at our elbows like loose seams of string they can
unravel. Women dying by the hands of men who envy a woman’s power,
that is history, a long Tuesday night, the tide rising. Even the moon was born
from a woman’s severed head, her angry heart still rolling.



La Malinche Goes to My High School


La Malinche transferred to my high school, and already
the white kids mock her when her tongue stumbles on English
words. They tell her to say teacher, say homework, say fuck.

Say it all again in Nahuatl. I warn her about the boy who calls
my hair straw because it won’t bend and flow like water.
La Malinche counters with the kid who calls her Indian, calls her nuts

and berries. Keep your dark skin to yourself, I tell her, so she
squeezes herself into whiteness. She hikes her hair up into a high bun,
She nicknames herself Mal, She listens to Taylor Swift. When

she’s seen holding hands with white boy Alex, the Latino boys spit
towards her moving feet. She only dates white boys, they say, rubbing
their chests where they keep her in their heart. Her first time with George

feels like an invasion in her own body. When she tells George this, he says
you would know. I regret running the rumor that the best skin is the quiet kind,
but I, with my relaxed ends, my beaten mouth that cannot speak Black slang

without feeling a sore tongue, do not look forward to when the white kids
pull her skin so far down it snaps, when they call her tendon and bone and reject
the past beating on her blood like goosebumps, like brail, like batons, like guns.




Shonté Daniels is a New Jersey poet currently living in Maryland. She is an editorial associate at Rewire, where she has written about art culture. Shonté just wants to keep writing.

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