Rebecca Salazar: Colombiana



1. (noun.) The CGI favelas

superimposed upon the intricate-lit sheen

of Zoe Saldana’s left tricep

as she nuzzles a handgun between

praying hands, barrel kissing her brow

as the tasteful taupe words haloed

over her head decree Vengeance

Is Beautiful.


2. (verb). The act of engaging in a rare form

of pica, during which the afflicted scarfs

national flags; she then regurgitates

them, fairy-godmothered

into the stars and the stripes

which will flutter aloft in Hi-Def,

lambent with traces of saliva.


3.a. (mistake). Yours, North America,

for flagrantly neglecting that your schools

ensure all pupils learn the finer points

of B & E & Neo-Colonial-favela-parkour.

Your daughters, who can’t hack

the flexor tendons of unwelcome strangers

in point-oh-eight seconds;

your nine-year-olds whose tibias

still shatter at the mere sight

of repeated ten-foot falls.


6. (champagne). Specifically,

the Champagne of Sodas, surreptitiously

containing your first taste

of Coors Light, siphoned into your glass

by that cousin, sniggering over the film

at the younger kids, because a girl your age

can’t take it straight, you know.


13.b. (mistake). Your father’s, who took on

the video store run for the family reunion,

who too jauntily had all the kids

stack up like VHS tapes in the basement

to evangelize hope for their salvaged fate:

today, mis chinos,

you will learn about your country

from this lustrous DVD.


24. (synonym). For “exotic” or “hot-tempered”

or “hot-bodied,”

because Mexico, the usual booty call,

is getting quite bad press of late,

what with the actual Mexicans

having their real names splashed

grossly across the newsways.


8. (adjective.) The L.A. Times

defines it aptly: a b-movie blast

of bloody blam blam, and you’re checking

your fingers and toes for little traces

of her blood,

listening close to your heartbeat:

Define. Define. Define.


11. (constellation). In the quadrant Sagittarius;

all Third-World-Country movie sets

are mocked-up on a blueprint

of the pattern in this cluster, in which

the stars spell out a woman’s sharpened breasts

and sleek, protruding ribs,

rubbed with a coffee marinade,

garnished with rare, edible orchids.


“B-movie blast of bloody blam blam” is a line from Betsey Sharkey’s review of Colombiana in The Los Angeles Times, written in 2011.


Rebecca Salazar is a creative writing MA student at UNB, managing editor of Qwerty, and editorial assistant at The Fiddlehead. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, she was a co-founding editor of Sulphur: Laurentian University’s Literary Journal. She was recently awarded first place in The Malahat Review’s Open Season poetry contest, and an honorable mention in CV2’s 2014 Young Buck Poetry Contest. Her writing has appeared in Existere and Poetry is Dead.

Author: Jake Byrne

Poetry editor.

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