Elisabet Velasquez


ELISABET VELASQUEZ is a Brooklyn Born Boricua. She is a mother of two. Her poems are an exploration of her life. Velasquez has performed at Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, Pregones Theatre, Bushwick Starr Theatre, The Bowery Poetry Club, Brooklyn Museum, Museum Of Natural History, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Rutgers University, Williams College, Adelphi University, Pace University, Princeton University, James Madison University, Harvard University and The Amber Rose Slut Walk 2017.  Her work has been featured on  TIDAL, NBC, Now This, Huffington Post, Latina Magazine, Vibe Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Centro Voces. She is a VONA Alum, 2017 Poets House Fellow. She is the winner of Button Poetry's 2017 Poetry Video Contest. She is a 2019 Frost Place Fellow. Her work is forthcoming in the anthology : WHAT SAVES US Poems of Empathy and Outrage In The Age Of Trump edited by Martin Espada. Source

Professional Spanish Knocks on the Door

At first we don’t answer. 

Knocks that loud usually mean 5-0 is on the other end.


                                 Señora ábrenos la puerta porfavor.

                                 Estamos aquí para platicar con usted.

                                 No queremos llamar la policía.


The person on the other side of the door

is speaking professional Spanish.


Professional Spanish is fake friendly.

Is a warning.


Is a downpour when you

Just spent your last twenty dollars on a wash and set.


Is the kind of Spanish that comes

to take things away from you.


The kind of Spanish that looks at your Spanish like it needs help.

Professional Spanish of course doesn’t offer help.


It just wants you to know that it knows you need some.

Professional Spanish is stuck up


like most people from the hood who get good jobs.

Professional Spanish is all like I did it you can do it too.


Professional Spanish thinks it gets treated better than us

because it knows how to follow the rules.


Because it says Abrigo instead of .

Because it knows which fork belongs to the salad


and which spoon goes in the coffee.


Because it gets to be the anchor on Telemundo and Univision

and we get to be the news that plays behind its head in the background.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:





Intersectionality & Culture

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing