A sample of my work soon-to-be released in print !


From mexican-korean-disabled-queer artist Caro. 

You can find the rest of this piece in the hard copy of Mixed Up!

*Gasp* that’s right, we’re only giving you PART of this totally awesome piece, talk about a teaser.


What A _______ Can Take by Caro Reyes


23 years of life prepared me

for a world that was not prepared for me,

for someone that is no easy read,

blurring categories many are not well versed in.

And that takes time, the couple of minutes you do not have, 

the extra effort to understand in a time priming us all 

to move quickly, to get going, to understand our world

via set categories and Google,

its one-second-download-click for all we want to know…

…if we have the time. 

I was prepped for this: 

to navigate appearing one way, but being another, 

an existence of in-betweens.

To sometimes look like an immigrant: “Where are you from? No, really, where are you from?”

To sometimes look like a game: “Don’t tell me… Chinese? Japanese? I’ll get it! Please don’t tell me.”

To sometimes look like a tomboy: “Wait, you’re gay gay? You’re not a femme or butch!”

To sometimes look mixed: “Oh, so you’re half white.”


to not look disabled and being judged by all those above

to not look disabled and carrying a load invisible to all

to look young and healthy when my body has aged to 64

is something I was not prepared for.

This “looking healthy” to pain ratio disconnect has me floored.

Do I tell you 

how each morning, when I wake up,

how my foot stays deep in Sandman dreams

pulling me in, bringing my morning into a painful nightmare,

my foot and leg covered in bear traps gnawing 

at me at various gauges?

How do I share 

how my sacrum freezes into a bloodless numbness 

making my legs uneven wooden beams,

as I teeter forward and back, I hear the piano play 

to entertain the gods staring in disbelief from above

at my attempt to stand and start my day?

When do I explain 

how every time I take a step,

my calf fills like an hourglass of needles

each burning needle falling slowly into my foot,

my mind clawing its way out to escape my body’s

auto setting: Numb Here-Numb There-Now?

Why am I sharing

my pain-pocked reality as you work on traumas of your own?

I have nothing to gain from eyes filled with pity.

And I’m ashamed to say I’m filled with envy 

for how you can numb yourself away into far-away dreams, 

a reality for the healthy and young, something I lost

when I was bound and gagged into a time machine 

that spit me out into an aged body I was not prepared for.

Oh, what a soul can take.