Heart-shaped Vase

If my fragile heart should break,
fill my ventricles with flowers;
like bud vases for roses and peonies.
That would please me.

If my swollen heart should burst,
adorn my head with a crown of blossoms;
my love forgotten, I will thirst no more.

Turn my pain into vibrant art,
heartfelt and captivating;
in the vein of Frida Kalho
is a good place to start.

When this brunette finally breaks,
may she Rest In Peace;
though her corazón in pedacitos may be.

Give a little piece to those who grieve her passing:
for those asking for a memento or un momento de su vida,
un retrato de su cara
para recordarla bien,
again and again/
de una y otra vez,
as her memory fades;

so the heartbreak is less
than it otherwise would be
when they can no longer see her face
on the banks of the memory that flows through the mind’s eye;
a river wide as the Amazonas.


I like my sugar burnt; and salted.
If it’s milk chocolate, make it malted at least.
I like dark chocolate, spicy not sweet.
White chocolate is a fright, a ghost in the night, tasting nothing like cacao to me.

I like treats sweetened with honey,
made of marzipan or cornmeal;
not bleached or focus group taste tested for consumer mass appeal.
I want the real deal at the end of my meal.

You are like basil; fresh and organically grown.
Your form is pleasing to the eye in a beloved patch of green garden.
You are wild and free.

You don’t come wrapped in a disposable, branded package to choke the environment,
nor a sugar coating to burn my throat and stun my tastebuds like a Pez gun.
You are stunning in your realness,
your quality: simple yet complex, simultaneously.

Prints hint at your sweetness that grows with integrity from the roots up;
though they cannot capture it,
nor express your fragrant scent that fills the senses.

It is subtle, versatile, and always welcome.
Sweet and savory;
equally delectable either way.

Engaging my tastebuds in a symphony of harmony,
your depth and range taste sweet on my tongue.
You make me bite my lip and want to take a sip.

You are good for my health with a wealth of benefits;
petits fors have got nothing on you.
True blue;
the realest person I ever knew.

As ‘Hymn for Trayvon’
gives me goosebumps,
the notes swing low then high
like chariots in the sky.
How many hymns do we need?
Their names said in succession
could fill symphonies.
after procession,
after procession, after procession,
without progression.

Racismo. Racism translates.
Oh, yes it does.
If you think
Latinos can’t be racist;
are immune to racism
due to our own brown shades of skin,
our own melanin,
our own run ins,
you need to educate yourself and think again.
That’s a dangerous myth.

It’s time
to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Spit it out.
That mango shade,
made with generations of hatred,
tastes putrid in my mouth.

to a voice unknown.
with a perspective
different from your own.
Go to places you have never visited;
that you may not have known existed
Read books
from an author who looks different from you.

a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Coils and Curls
Like the lines on a diaspora map
strands wrap around the globe
Stretch them and they bounce back
long on resilience
brilliantly shining whether pulled taut or set free
to just be
as nature would have them

Waves washed seeds across the seas
Planted in me
how many generations ago I don’t know
Still they grow

Tides shift
Winds shift
Sands shift
Water drips
Seeds sip
Sprouts find their way out

Waves break on the sandy shore
creating a frizzy mist around my crown
Refreshingly beautiful
if not conventionally dutiful
Kinks and coils
colors of soils from different lands
transcending tradition

Recognition begins from within
Taking up space is both an instinct and a decision
Fear of derision causes us to shrink
I want to sail
I do not fear failure so much as lost opportunity
to be me
as God intended for me to be

Gigi Guizado is a bilingual actor, writer, and translator based in Las Vegas. Recurring themes in her work include feminism, diversity, and mental health. Her translations of Colombian radio plays have had staged readings in London and Las Vegas, her writing on psychiatric nursing education has been published in MedEDPORTAL, and her translation and adaptation of an excerpt from El Concierto by Cuban playwright Ulyses Rodríguez Febles is featured in the online educational resource, Performing International Plays. She is a member of Out of the Wings Collective.