Ysabel Y. Gonzalez


Newark, NJ native Ysabel Y. Gonzalez, is also known for her performance poetry under the alias Ancestral Poetisa. She received her BA from Rutgers University and an MFA in Poetry from Drew University. Ysabel has received invitations to attend VONA, Tin House, Ashbery Home School and BOAAT Press workshops. She’s a CantoMundo Fellow, and has been published in HEArt Journal; Paterson Literary Review; Tinderbox Journal; Anomaly; Vinyl; It was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop; Wide Shore, Waxwing Literary Journal, and others.  You can read more about her work, at www.ysabelgonzalez.com.

Black Unicorn
after Audre Lorde’s “The Black Unicorn”

I kneel in rich earth, call her name and sometimes she comes. That is the nature of being godly free, darkly divine. From clickity-clack hooves through pointed steeple, she’s sublime, watches herself in a cold pool of water, kicking out feral front legs as if Black is searching to take down wool and silk.  

There are costs to being Black. My own Brown unshackled rearing grows fearful of how exotic I, too, look under tonight’s moon.

Brown. Black.

We both rev through this world watching for rope, every untamed hurl fanning flame, mane glossy—eyes demanding we’re not painted over white.



Posted on April 18, 2018 .