Portrait of Nicole Alvarez

A Williams Professor Once Told Me, “Don’t Use Your Poetry as a Soapbox”

By Nicole Alvarez ’22

A Williams professor once told me,
“Don’t use your poetry as a soapbox”
But I look at my old work
And revolt like it’s garbage
Ironic that I was obsessed with
Dolls and polish
That spills over the cuticles of my meaning
Unable to ever really cover the dirt underneath my breathing
Unable to satiate the constant fiending
For the disruption of Black healing
Feeling that every part of academia I
Peel apart and partake in
Has me looking over the
Soapbox, leaning
But the fact of the matter is that
The only poetry I’ve ever really loved
Has killed me and revived me time and
Time again
With the truth
You know they called Langston Hughes backwards too, right?

Portrait of Nicole Alvarez
Nicole Alvarez ’22 is a young Dominican and Puerto Rican woman from Queens, New York, who majors in biology and concentrates in neuroscience.