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Vulva usted mañana / Vulva Again Tomorrow

by Angela Acosta

Image is of red silky sheets crumbled up.
Image credit: Canva

-Vuelva usted mañana -nos dijo al siguiente día-, porque el amo acaba de salir.

- Come again tomorrow – he told us the following day -, because the owner just left.

            (“Vuelva usted mañana”, Mariano José de Larra)


Vulva usted mañana, le respondió la enfermera,

a la señora esperando un aborto,

Vulva again tomorrow, responded the nurse

to the woman awaiting an abortion,

Vulva usted mañana, le respondió el maestro,

al chico trans queriendo llevar el uniforme con corbata,

Vulva again tomorrow, responded the teacher,

to the trans boy wanting to wear the uniform with a tie,

Vulva usted mañana, le respondió el médico,

a la mujer esperando una operación que la daría la misma,

Vulva again tomorrow, responded the doctor,

to the woman waiting an operation to give her that very thing.


Come again tomorrow, make an appointment, take your pills.

Vulva again tomorrow, your anatomy is a site of difference,

of delay, of patience tested in the highest court of the land.

Larra was right, this is a kind of cultural joke, a mockery

for those who know banks are closed on Mondays

and clinics have more autonomy than your anatomy.


Come again tomorrow, bring your paperwork, your ultrasound scans.

Vulva again tomorrow, they’ll call you Miss “Without Delay,”

wondering why you are in such hurry for the siesta lasts for a few hours

and your procedure must be scheduled within six weeks.

Tomorrow, tomorrow goes the refrain, the constant strain

of limited hours and terrible customer service they chalk up

to the state of our nation, ever so different from Canada or Mexico.


Come again tomorrow, though you are wasting their time.

Vulva again tomorrow, hyper aware you now are of the ways

your body betrays across time and space, and here I am

not professing Larra was a feminist icon of nineteenth-century Spain,

(believe me, Concepción Arenal has all the credit), but he was right

about the waiting, the impatience, the dumbfounded looks

of why anyone would even want to embark on such futile quests.


Vulva usted ahora, es una necesidad de mayor urgencia,

vulva usted ahora, le responden los médicos, los abogados

y hasta los padres y los esposos.

Vulva now, it is a concern of the highest urgency,

vulva now, the doctors and lawyers respond,

even the fathers and husbands.


Vulva now, and you relax, finally content

to take that siesta they were always telling you about.

Vulva now, no delay, doors are finally opened wide.

Vulva now, you sit in class, in an exam room,

or even outer space (for what would a female astronaut be

without a hundred tampons?)

with no wait to exist in this body

you always had, wanted, and wished for.


Black and white image of the author, Angela Acosta.
Angela Acosta

Angela Acosta (she/her) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at Davidson College specializing in modern and contemporary Spanish literature and culture. Her writing has appeared in Shoreline of Infinity, Apparition Lit, Radon Journal, and Space & Time. She is the author of Summoning Space Travelers (Hiraeth Publishing, 2022) and A Belief in Cosmic Dailiness: Poems of a Fabled Universe (Red Ogre Review, 2023).

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