by Raquel Vazquez

I created a microphone with my hands.
It wasn’t the kind of microphone
made of curved metal mesh
that you plug into the wall
and connect to a stereo system.

It was made of paper and string.

I was once told to make something
with my hands

Something that would be
pivotal to me as I moved through life
and leaned on this thing
that would anchor me.

It was a microphone.

Hearing my voice amplified
allowed me to carefully learn
the texture of my voice,
the smoothness of it,
the strength and boldness of it,
the calm wisdom of it,

the sweet tenor sounds I bellow in song,
the vibrations of my hums,
the depths of heartbreak,
the pitches of elation,

the rough edges of it,
the New York in it,
the trill when I say my name in Spanish.

To speak my truth,
I use my voice
through this microphone,
as a vehicle
to my own