Lupita Eyde-Tucker

Mi Telenovela

After school, after almuerzo each day, boredom’s sequela:
Gisella and I turn on the TV, watch back-to-back telenovelas.

Babies switched at birth: the peon’s orphan son for the stillborn, well-born
girl. La fuerza del destino. Our mothers are always found in telenovelas.

Puerto Ricans, Argentinians, Venezuelans, and Mexicans speak Spanish
differently. Accents I adopted by watching telenovelas.

Gisella, our fifteen-year-old maid, watches from the kitchen,
cooking up a ceviche of dreams they force feed us in telenovelas.

The poor girl who leaves el campo for la ciudad, for an upgrade on life.
The stapled storyline of the classic Latin American telenovela.

Teach me how to seduce a man. Obligate him to marry me.
I want a mansion in Caracas, like the ones in telenovelas.

Angled shot facing a mirror. Two lives clash in the reflection.
What are Shakespeare and Austen but centuries-old telenovelas?

Ay chama, Chavez and his compinches are de lo last. Turned
Venezuela into a poorly written script of bad telenovela.

Streets empty, entire countries riveted— gutters overflow
with tears over the last scenes, the final episode of telenovelas.

In the kitchen Abuelita cooks llapingachos, my favorite.
Gisella’s best dish: caldo blanco. A bowlful of telenovela.

Lupita Ferrer, my long-lost mother of melodrama, will I cut
the cord on manipulation the day I stop watching telenovelas?

Lupita Eyde-Tucker writes and translates poetry in English and Spanish. She’s the winner of the 2021 Unbound Emerging Poet Prize, and her poems have recently appeared in Women’s Voices for Change, Rattle, [PANK], Jet Fuel Review, and Philadelphia Stories. Lupita is finishing up an MFA in Poetry at the University of Florida. She has received scholarships and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers Conferences, the New York State Summer Writers Institute, and Vermont Studio Center. Read more of her poems here: