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 Ypsi On My Mind  is a zine collection of poems by women of color exploring how we see and experience Ypsilanti -- past, present, or future. Ypsilanti is crucial to our region -- and Black, Latinx, Native American, and other women of color are crucial to Ypsilanti. So, what does Ypsilanti mean to women of color? These poems offer a glimpse.


This is an open source community zine! Please share and reproduce widely!

I Stand Tall

I stand tall on my foundation in a city that has shown me both love and hate. As I sit next to the water at riverside park, I feel the sun caress my face

by Lolita D. Nunn


Ypsi (most of the time)

I can find
a friend of mine
in Ypsi
most of the time
(Photo Credit YooperAnn)

by Nancy Nishihira


A Goddess of Contentment

You are a land full of abundance
an abundance of collective beloveds.
You have taught me to be still
(Photo Credit Shop_Ypsi)

by Erika Murcia


Thee Beast

All over my body.
If you collected every strand
My particles would travel for miles

by Rachael Somers


Familiar Daughter

The sound of the heavy rain woke me on a late August morning
Giant droplets slapped oak tree leaves
their vivid green shrouded the slightly cracked window letting in tepid summer air

by Connystynce Chege


Poema para Ypsilanti

Querido Ypsilanti amado Ypsilanti!
Desde el corazón te recito con amor
Me levanto a una solo vos con un son conquistador
(Photo Credit Shop_Ypsi)

by Roxana Quijada


Healing Roots

I try but can’t quite place the memory
That moment I felt rooted into the history

by Desiraé Simmons


1893 Cyclone Damage at the Chinese Laundry

Hold the photograph close. The erasable space appears: you, nameless, hand on your hat, outside on the sidewalk.
(Photo Credit Matt Callow)

by Linette Lao


Plum juice

There’s a brown girl in the rain
Tra la la la la
There’s a brown girl in the rain
Tra la la la la la

by Nuola Akinde


In the saddle

Nothing does a better job of reminding me that I’m alive
than riding my bicycle
losing my breath as I sprint up Cherry Hill Road
(Photo Credit Alan L)

by Jayanthi Reddy


Birthing Home

When I say I’m undocumented
People are always asking me what
It means to be american.

by Maria Ibarra-Frayre


Ten Pairs

Every tear escaped behind a mask at dinner unnoticed, a pattern of paw prints on pedestrian streets, the sound of a toothbrush connecting with the floor—
(Photo Credit Kari Zeissky)

by Amber Fellows


Home (an ode to Ypsilanti)

I didn't grow up in one place
I am glad I didn't
But if I could offer one place for my children
It would be here
(Photo Credit George Thomas)

by Brenda Dinorah González


An Ode to Complex Movement

A housemate in Detroit
From Pennsylvania
Once told me that she had a polyamorous relationship to place
That multiple cities called to her that she all loved equally but different.

by Violeta Donawa


Ypsi On My Mind

My being relates to this place
Like a turtle full of substance steadfastly
Its path

by Anuja Rajendra


The Refuge

This place is the refuge
where with faith,
a grieving teenager sent her baby girl
lovingly down river
to rescue her from the 1980s.

by Erica B. Edwards

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