Albany Gonzalez

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Albany Gonzalez recites her poem at “Poetic Palate” at Margulies Collection (Photo © Maria Victoria Biancardi)

ABSENCE AS IDENTITY
By Albany Gonzalez

So, like, Mark Manders once said, “Under the table
you have the possibility 
to test your own absence.” 
Which, like, a woman tests her absence the
moment 
gender smacks her infanthood. 
I test my absence like I down a shot of tequila 
unflinchingly. 
Absence, both brutal and tender, 
like the cracks of bronze dissecting 
and dismembering 
the face and the arms. 
Absence, like the taking and controlling 
of a body. Once I loved 
a boy and his fingers scraped me empty raw. 
He said I looked best blank. So I became a
homunculus— 
or maybe more like I unbecame? 
Was chipped away to no face 
and no arms 
but hey, at least I’m art, 
right? Made bronze and clay 
with absence a center piece. 
Some grotesque 
self-portrait or maybe, like, the fissures splintering 
a head clean off in grief 
except, like, when they ask if 
I’m missing him 
I’m not quite sure how to say: well, actually, 
I just wish I was less clay and more human,
is all. 

 

Albany Gonzalez is an undergraduate honors student pursuing dual degrees in English and Psychology with plans to become a mental health counselor in the future. She enjoys dogs, wine, criticizing pop culture, and googling things like, “If you drink half of a 5 hour energy shot, do you still get 5 hours of energy or 2.5?” Her work focuses on self perception and identity, and the external factors that drive us to question it.

This poem was debuted at the FIU Honors College‘s “Poetry Art Community” at Margulies Collection on 6 April, 2018.

The Margulies Poems by the FIU Students of Poetry Art Community
Isabella Marie Garcia
Albany Gonzalez
Victoria Lopez-Trujillo
Isabella Montes
Aaron Pupo
Jonah Wichterich

Back to Poetry Art Community at Margulies Collection