This piece is featured in Issue No. 11 Forbidden Fruit


how do you like me now? \\ tea and bread on a winter evening \\ Apples were my favorite food

how do you like me now?

i dreamt my chest was flat 
foreign hands navigated: 
paper-boats by the riverside 
my hips were not corrupted 
But, instead, covered in glitter 
and i was still your girl 
a girly girl 
my knees only bent 
once a week 
 my mouth, 
full of carnation petals 
the walls absorbed my words 
like drops of blood on cotton 
do you remember when my chest was flat? 
i always thought my voice was 
too deep for a girl 
my skin 
too dark to flourish 
my organs 
too stained to matter 
my ideas 
too vast to be represented 
did it ever matter? 
always too much but at least, 
my chest was flat 
am i sick for thinking that
my chest is flat? 
time has forgotten its 
favorite daughter 
but i still wear this body 
like the mark of Caín 
never undercover, 
my past selves murdered 
behind it
if my chest was flat for the rest of my life 
what would be of me? 
what would be of you? 
would you still call me your girl? 
or would you look away 
at the image of someone 
similar to you? 
but darling
my chest is not flat 
and my mind is as nasty 
as yours (girly girl) 
you are nothing at heart if not 
if i am not appealing enough 
i won't slim down my flesh for you

you can starve

tea and bread on a winter evening

you seem a little hungry do you want a plum? 
tea and bread on a winter evening 
by yael tobón uribe 
you must have witnessed my 
guts, heart and lungs 
a handful of sweet almonds or a cup of warm milk? 
you don’t have to sit alone, let us bake bread together, 
the prologue of procreation by unlearning an obsolete significance of intimacy 
you look a little blue 
can i make tea for you? 
dried buganvilia flowers, 
a clove of garlic, 
juice of half a lemon, 
and honey 
just like my mom used to 
make it 
you must have glimpsed 
the starved child living 
within my skin 
all i was ever given was this buganvilia tea 
not my mother’s arms, 
only my father’s cold touch 
before you poured me a glass of herbal tea 
to dissipate the inner heat 
emanating from your disarray 
please stay a little longer i sure have an antidote for those bruised limbs of yours. 
let me melt your hands and you can sing to me 
please linger by the door, before you leave 
take my sweater with you and allow me a hug 
i will see you in the spring, remember my mother’s tea
during the ferocious winter  
i will always have bread for you but, even when you're not hungry, 
think of me

Apples were my favorite food

When I was younger, apples were my favorite food. 
Apples fell from trees like capsules of immaculate sweetness. I was constantly asked why apples were my favorite food, 
“They were all I ate when I ate nothing else” I said.
that concerned those who didn't understand how easily I get attached to everything that makes me feel 
That was why I kept, in the back of my closet, two bottles–– Cuban ron and blended scotch whiskey. 
That was why I kept, in the back of my mind, an imaginary home. Too often, at night, I sat on the floor and sipped a cup of mint tea. 
I craved something sweet so I bit an apple. Too often, after that sacred ritual, I dreamt of her. 
She wore the same coat and was soaked in rain. 
I woke up hoping she was all right because that is all I knew how to do: hoping people were alright. 
Then I walked around the house hoping no one noticed how much humanity I lacked. 
Then, I walked home and binged until I satisfied my hunger. A little while before I was younger, 
meaty apples marked the prelude to inclusive existence a little while before Cain. Or, was it Adam? 
I could never hate anything that made me feel isolated for that isolation revealed to me the meaning of fullness so how empty could I feel before falling apart? 
Was there a middle ground between empty and stuffed? I didn’t know how to cry without bleeding, 
I carried both tears and blood on my sleeves, just in case. I didn’t know how to breathe without suffocating. 
Thank God I am not as young as I used to be 
I crave love, familiarity, vulnerability and not (only) apples I am not young enough to cling to anything close or far from extremeness. A summer day in a dusty apartment by yourself can change you, the living room smells like sovereignty and fresh fruit, a symphony intrinsic to the change of seasons. 
She never came back in spring but that is fine 
I cut my little apple into little pieces on a wooden table She never came back but I was never her. 

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yael tobón

yael tobón (she/they) is a Mexican queer writer and poet currently based in Tiohtià:Ke (Montreal). She is pursuing a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality. Their work revolves around the female body, gender identity, generational trauma and sapphic love. \\ IG: @moonchildd02