My name is not easy. 
You won’t taste recognition
the first time it touches your lips. 
It offers no cursory familiarity 
to speed your greeting as you meet me. 
No, it does not roll smoothly off the tongue 
with a careless pass.

My name demands a moment of consideration (hesitation),
an observance of vowels and consonants. 
A rehearsal of sound. 
Discomfort, pause, assessment—

I’ve listened as you carefully or clumsily put the notes together. 
I’ve watched as new connections formed behind your eyes or as you hurriedly
sought an alternative to call me by.

Who am I anyhow?

Dinavie Sanchez Salazar 
is a heavy name.

A name with corresponding numbers yielding an 11. 
An angel number, they say. 
A master number, they say. 
A highly spiritual vibration that contains an alchemical journey,
beckons an odyssey along upward spirals of ascension. 
Potent, they say, but not without devoted work.

What’s in a name anyhow?
Mine was born of my two grandmothers.
Formidable women in their own right.

Segundina, whose incredible strength, valor,
heartache and sacrifice I know intimately 
from all the years she Lovingly raised me.
Your superstitions were shunned, but I know 
there flowed magic in your veins.

And Vicenta, whose spirit I know from the stories.
I can see you now—
Red-lipped noblewoman riding on horseback
through the mountains, pregnant,
to catch your philandering husband.

Dinavie Sanchez Salazar
is a name suitable for a firstborn
of an immigrant family pioneering life 
in new lands of Opportunity,
from a powerful lineage rising from the rubble of 400+ years of colonialism.

It is a name for a warrior and a healer. 
Born of both poverty and nobility. 
Incarnated here with purpose. 
Ready to tell my story. 
Our stories.

I am a ranger of the valleys of Shadow. 
I am a channel for the spirits of Light.

I am Dinavie Sanchez Salazar. 
Know me by my name.

We eat our tongues as though they would be ripped from our faces,
swallow our voices as though hearth and home
might be torn out from under us.
Our stomachs are full of the stories we’ve stuffed down
with pain and shame and undeserving.
And yet we starve.

How many words live in our throats and die on our lips?
How often do we smile agreeably
while we silence our truths behind clenched teeth?
How many of us have been violated or victimized
because society taught us
to fear our own power?

Influence, we are told, comes of our ability to please.
Beauty, we are conditioned to recognize only in our smallness and delicacy.
We are made to believe that only a fragment of who we are is palatable,
so we trade our authenticity for cultural capital
and hide the rest behind industry-sanctioned masks
of Impermeable Cool.

But we do not exist to be consumed.
Honey, these mouths bite.
And yes, our lips do drip with blood.
We were first to taste Knowledge and so our wombs bear fruit.
Our delicious appetites!
The only Trick came afterward—
when we were fooled into believing the stigmas
placed on our Womxnhood, into divesting ourselves
of our voices and our Intuition,
into devaluing our embodied connection
to the mysteries of Life and Death,
creation and destruction.
Oh the yarns we are fed.

So go on, STICK YOUR DAMN TONGUE OUT!
Screw the patriarchal shackles of Good Taste.
Claim your ferocity, your sensitivity, your inner guidance.
Feel into your cyclic rhythms, your wild capacity to Love.
Take your power. Find Grace.
The world needs your healing wisdom,
and you can’t pour from an empty cup.
So have your fill of Life
and be truly satisfied.