No 1980’s tight young ass to pounce on
anymore No smooth skin to assault anymore No frightened little girl to follow Down cold shitty Lower East Side streets
Now-a-days the boys catcall my intellect Corner me in conference rooms Universities In restaurants
¡¿Oye mami cuántos
libros has leído?!
¡No sabes na bruta!
Where did you graduate from mami?!
Your university degree means nada nena!
They attempt to inflict Injuries with blank pages To drown me out Under piles of exclusions To erase my existence To whittle me down To a stub
N o t h i n g
These days my catcallers Are the intelligentsia Postmodern jeering elitists Hyperbolic hipsters swooping in to take charge Our modern-day land grabbers The white settlers of the information
age Revolutionary revisionists
My cat-calling boys come with females in
tow these days Sold out dames of trendiness Fast talking fools Puking memorized conceptual hullabaloos Living delusions
They are lost souls
Existing in their own holograms of fame Convinced masses in the world Know their name Believe their immortality
Don’t my catcallers understand They have yet to be born?
"Catcalls to My Brain" was
first published in Gargoyle (2020).
Nancy Mercado is the recipient of the 2017 American Book
Award for Lifetime Achievement presented by the Before Columbus Foundation. She
was named one of 200 living individuals who best embody the work and spirit of
Frederick Douglass on the occasion of his
bicentennial by The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and the Antiracist
Research and Policy Center at American University. For more information go to
nancy HYPHEN mercado DOT com.