“Bad Bunny is Caro” & “Smallest Kind of Prayer” by Asiyah Herrero

Illustration of Bad Bunny against red background

Bad Bunny is Caro

This song makes me want to walk around the block, past all of my crushes
Because I know that I would walk cute if I was listening to this
I think there’s a lot of play on the screen, I think that maybe we want to read it too much
I remember when that article came out, the one from the billboards, the one that said something
about how he is the queer icon we need right now
I’m looking it up, I’m googling
Latin Trap Rapper Bad Bunny Is Redefining Masculinity In A Genre Steeped In Machismo
Are you talking about his nails
Bad Bunny just hits different
Can we just say that masculinity is not the same in every place?
I’m not trying to say something about Bad Bunny’s sexuality
But it is -
Fashion memory is so short, nothing he is doing is new in that it hasn’t existed similarly
Trying to remove him from a history of pressed and patterned shirts
Like that is something people care about
Somewhere he’s said that he likes to dress how he feels
I relate to him on unequal terms
Is it violent, I don’t know
That feels untranslatable
So much excess it makes sense
Well first he makes a point, what he can look like is related to that
What does he mean by Caro?
At the end, I think it’s worth
The way people talk about it
is the way people name things they don’t fully know how to understand, which is me,
I don’t fully understand but I want to read it
Caro comes from forever, made in the week before the year 2019
The same year he wore his purple suit
You can’t talk about Bad Bunny without talking about purple or yellow or pink
He is always a color,
green on his nails or on his head
Lots of faded brightness
Which is a part of him, the presence of color that is very light
I don’t know how to talk about Bad Bunny without projecting
Can we look at him honestly or is that stupid
What does it mean if he’s kissing himself?
Himself is a man and then a woman
Do we care?
Reggaetón is so joy
I feel weird about asking for evidence like that
Not to say that Caro is reggaetón, but that it comes from reggaetón
It’s not a dance floor it’s a car and a house and the street
But you can still dance on it, in it
The choreography of bodies is hanging out
Someone is touching you back
And they are all standing around and sitting around and moving around
And what about the volcano?
Also the sunglasses! In the dark
Bad Bunny wears sunglasses
And it reflects onto them while they move
On every carpet
The people are dancing in fire
The person who becomes Bad Bunny dances and then Bad Bunny dances himself
It matters that they are similar and not the same
It is the end of the world
Apocalypse weekend
And all he has is his own tongue
Which again is about the point,
The pleasure in Caro, which if in some way he means worth, is yourself
Bad Bunny is swerving around the volcano,
Bad Bunny is making out with body, messy
In the moment he has four hands, and
The volcano is behind him

Smallest Kind of Prayer

I never gave it to you really, so here
aloud its truth. I’m left without the sound of detail
but I do know a memory
where we are pulled out of class &
Señorita Maria holds a feelings circle—
if it wasn’t named that she was
trying her best. We both were
distinguished with stickers but
not for our behavior. I’ve been called
to the principal's office only a couple times.
In my dreams I’ve told my new girls about it,
the playground. We spied,
stubborn & still like we were
attached to the green shadows
on either side of the concrete.
Forgave the other almost. Never
wholly confessed. That all the girls
at the tenth birthday blood pact
are not women I still love. Even
if I can find you, I picture grieving
through both of our skins. We won’t feel
that small in a sleeping bag again.
In my safest memory you were always
pretty in pajamas.
If Señorita Maria gets us to apologize
I mean it. Now you
remind me. We became this,
glad to be more weight. Sweeter
to have left the bushes.

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Asiyah Herrero writes from Brooklyn. They are currently pursuing a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University.

Faye Orlove is an artist and activist living in Los Angeles. In 2015, she founded Junior High — a non-profit community space for marginalized artists — and in 2020 it closed due to a violently mismanaged and traumatic handling of the Coronavirus. In 2021, Junior High will reopen, Faye will get married, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians will come to a bitter end. Follow her @fayeorlove for mostly pictures of cats!