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Elizabeth Acevedo

Years: 2015,


ELIZABETH ACEVEDO was born and raised in New York City and her poetry is infused with her Dominican parents’ bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over twelve years of performance experience, Acevedo is a National Slam Champion. She lives in Washington D.C. and has been published or has poems forthcoming in The Acentos Review, Locked Horn Press, CallalooPoet Lore and The Notre Dame Review. Acevedo is a Cave Canem Fellow, Cantomundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer's Workshop. Her book of poems, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths, is forthcoming (YesYes Books).


First Job


I rise with the bread.

Sleepy-eyed and yawning

walk the four blocks,

clock in and clean the windows.

Forgot to lock the door.

Put the day-old bagels

near the front of the display.

Sweep. Wash the counters.

Check the register.


Forgot to lock the door.

By the time I hear the welcome chime

the bum already has his dick in a fist, stroking.

Miguel, baking scones in the back,

hears me scream.

Laughs as he runs the man off.

Why your hands shakin’, girl?

I forgot to lock the door.

And so I mop. Greet customers.

Percolate coffee. Warm bread.


Pretend the girl inside of me

isn’t just a small roach

always waiting for a boot to fall.


Published Madcap Review, Issue 2