Submission By Carmiña Junípero

My writing expresses the voice of the young, the Black, the queer, and the questioning. From pieces about what it means to live in a vanillafied Chocolate City, to the complex grief felt in glimpses of modern American college life, my writing seeks to encompass what it means to be a human in this fragile time. I would like to think of my poetry as tiny time capsules for fleeting moments. Carmiña Junípero


“My city was built on a Swamp. You can feel it in the hot, sticky air. I know you might not believe it when you see the monument and white house and capitol building. But you must know - washington dc was built on a Swamp. The mosquitos bite because it is their home. If you look up “Washington DC in the 1800s,” you will not find pictures of the Native Nacotchtank. Nor portraits of the Black people who built the city. After the mud came the trenches and after the trenches came the buildings. Plenty pictures of those pretty white buildings. 

So where are the people who built them, you ask? 

The Swamp must have swallowed Us whole.” 

– a Local


“You told me once that your favorite part of a book was the dedication. I saw one addressed to “all those who work to protect the ocean.” And since the night we met on the beach, you always loved the deep blue sea. I was just about to buy it for you when I remembered that we broke up 3 months ago. I guess I still carry us around like the necklace you stopped wearing. 

Do you ever hear me       choking? 

Can you tell I’m still        drowning? 

Or have you stopped looking into the distance, altogether?”

"Joy Luck House, 2019"

“Where have all the Chinese gone?

There are certainly none left in Chinatown.

The Friendship Archway flaunts herself

At the intersection of H & 6th

Big and Beautiful and Lonely.

An empty promise of sorts

An empty vessel.

Crying, almost,

Like a statue of liberty.

"Jordin's Paradise"

Poles lining the dance hall Afro beats play just across a flimsy curtain Tequila mixed with ginger ale Staring up into the blue light above

We never knew what growing up quite meant So we danced it away in the night Hungover in the morning Wishing away our better dreams

One day we would be those stars we saw in the night sky But right now we couldn’t admit it

Instead, we saw the earth crumbling all around us And cried A long cry, two thousand years wide 

And much further, still, to go

Read more of her work by following @jackiethelight on Instagram.