The Last Time I Cried

Jose Hernandez Diaz
| poetry


Was when I was watching Misty Copeland dance “The Nutcracker” on mute,
As I listened to “The Point of No Return” by Immortal Technique.

It was simply beautiful. What other words could I use? Fierce. Elegant.
Magical. The thought that she grew up near my neighborhood,

And grew up low-income, like me, makes me feel a kinship to her.
I always knew ballet was an art, and appreciated the movements,

But the music always threw me off as a little boring. The last time I cried,
While watching Misty dance to Immortal Technique, it felt so good

To cry to something beautiful for once. Like I wasn’t alone, anymore.
Like ballet and poetry and hip-hop, it’s all the same, same window to love.

Watching Misty dance to the underground hip-hop of my youth,
I feel as though I’ve united two worlds: two tiny, brilliant worlds.

Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020). He is an editor and educator based in Los Angeles County.

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