3rd Place in the Summer 2019 Poetry Contest: Monique Espinoza

October 15, 2019

This season's Poetry Contest was very challenging and every submission was much appreciated. The judges spent well over a week analyzing and scoring the poems. We are excited to share with our readers the winning poems and some background on the winning writers. 


Tied for 3rd in the contest, we have Monique Espinoza. 


Monique Espinoza is a Latina mother, teaching artist and poet from Phoenix, Az. Her poetry explores identity, motherhood, mental health, and love.


She is a citizen at the WordPlay Cafe open mic and a teaching artist with the youth poetry program, Project Lit. 


Through her writing Monique hopes to inspire healing and connection.


Here is Monique Espinoza's poem from our Summer Contest.  



On Instagram

I see


Perfectly curated living rooms

Mom bloggers with flawless skin and 5 star dishes for their 4 year old child

I see six packs and big bootys

Thick thighs and airbrushed makeup

A never ending stream

of Success


On Instagram

You see my highlight reel

I see the behind the scenes


That picture at the wedding

The one with almost a 100 likes

Of my smile painted across my face in ruby red?

Skin tight black dress accenting my curves


I had an anxiety attack an hour before,

Stood dressless in the kitchen

As my boyfriend stitched the seam that I tore

like a professional to ease my tears

Makeup running down my face


Because that is how my anxiety likes to remind me she’s there

That she’s present

At all times even when

I’m so happy I almost forget


She likes to come unannounced

Makes ME feel like the unwelcome guest

Like the alien invader

On the planet of me


Fills up the room with so much tension

That I could feel the rope tighten around my neck


She shows up on good days

And lingers around on the bad

On the days I already doubt myself


She sits there and lists out all of my mistakes

How many goals I haven’t reached

Reminds me of how flawed I really am

How many people I’ve hurt and disappointed


Sometimes the bad days turn into weeks

And I am consumed

She is all consuming


Lover of death And stories

She writes drafts about my death


Make me fall in love with the idea

of my funeral


But I never commit to

I have commitment issues and

Nobody posts about funerals on


Follow Monique on Instagram and show her some love for all of her hard work in the community. Thanks to all of the writers in our community! Please continue to support and uplift the writers around you. 

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