Written By: Liner Nuñez

Papi why is it that it’s only when you are sick, laying on a hospital bed,
that you allow me to caress your face?

Why is it that it’s only when you wear a catheter that you can receive touch?

Do you only receive touch through pain? 

¿Papi, porque eres tan fuerte conmigo? 

Aren’t you as strong as my softness can be?

Why is it that you stop listening to me even before I speak?

It is only when you listen, that I speak with conviction

It is only when you allow yourself to be soft, that I am happy to be your daughter. 

It is only when you are like mami that I can love you.

I kiss your forehead and you smile 

your shy broken smile, that I’ve seen so many men carry.

A smile that is scared of life and angry,

Una sonrisa que esconde y no siente,

but it is only when you are like papi that I know how to love you.

Liner Nuñez is a queer AfroLatina from the Dominican Republic. Holding a B.A. in Gender Studies, she spends her time transforming silence into action. As an act of interrupting and undoing gender-based violence, her site is dedicated to nurturing one’s niña interior. Liner’s most powerful actions of resistance are in the development and facilitation of healing circles and individual counseling, specifically for women of color who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse. 



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