Two Poems by Denise “Lil’ Dee” Cabrera

I Let My Soul Shine

I let my soul shine
I sing and preach rhymes
I let my soul shine
Walk in a strut ‘cause I’m a woman
This is my moment and my time.

I let my soul shine
Not caring in this world
What my peers say or
What goes through their minds.
Nor fake
Like silicone
Lips, hips, bust, nose, booty
Just me
Nor waist, tummy,
All me.

I shine bright like the rays of the sun.
Rise but not fall
‘Cause my dreams will come true.

This is for every player hater that kept on saying,
“You’re never going to make it in this world,
In fact, you’re just plain crazy!”

My gift, talent, ambition, knowledge and success.
I will soon prove to everyone
When I graduate from college.

My soul will shine!
And when it shines,
I’ll enlighten the world with my voice and the beauty of my mind.


Chicana Stereotypes

Give me your hot-tempered Divas!
Your dish-washing housemaids.
Your agrarian, sex object,
Spicy exotic whores!

And tell me what does it mean
To be a Chicana in the media?
I’ve seen it all before.

Can I be your seductress,
Your fantasy girl?
Your conceited, vain, “Desperate House Wife”?
Or how about if I be your
“Big booty shaking, hip hop video honey”?
Or what if I play your cholita teenage mom,
high school dropout y que?
Because these are the gritty real life depictions,
or at least that’s the cop out.

Can we get Eva Longoria as a
Strong feminist Chicana instead of a “Desperate House Wife”?
Not to diss but
Does she even have a job on that show?
Every time I see her, she’s either doing yoga,
Or doing the gardener.
And not that she’s the only one,
But come on, let’s be real!

The only time they let us play the lead is when we play up sex appeal.
How about you give me your doctors!
And not your heavy-accented nurses.
Give me your CEO’s,
your teachers
Your intelligent Latina leaders!
With or without these hot, Latina features.
Because we’re more than these stereotypes!
Beauty is the beast. But sexy is the mind.

Denise “Lil’ Dee” Cabrera