Yesenia Montilla


Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina poet & a daughter of immigrants. Her poetry has appeared in the Chapbook For the Crowns of Your Head, as well as the literary journals The Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Pittsburgh Poetry Review & others. She received her MFA from Drew University in Poetry and Poetry in Translation & is a 2014 CantoMundo Fellow. Her first collection The Pink Box is published by Willow Books & was Longlisted for a PEN award in 2016. She lives in Harlem NY. Source

Ode to a Dominican Breakfast

Keep your pancakes, french toast, eggs

benedict, your muffins and scones


Keep your waffles and four types of syrup

the way your eggs scramble but never sizzle


Nothing more scrumptious than mangu con queso frito


The other day I wore a white dress

with a wide skirt and a red sash


I danced merengue barefoot on my stoop. I kissed the

Dominican flag, once for each time I remembered a taino word


yuca, batata, tanama, ocama, yautia, cacique, juracan,

every bite on the plate, every morsel like a bachata tune


This can all be yours, get off the long lines at the brunch spot

Forget the grits and cheesy okra. Ring my doorbell


Five ingredients: Olive oil, onions, plantain, white cheese and flour





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:






Intersectionality & Culture

LGBTQ+ Experience

Literary Devices:


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


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter