This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Callista Buchen, is from Learning to Love a Western Sky by Amelia Díaz Ettinger, released by Airlie Press in 2020.
N.C.—Before you Disappeared—
content warning for incest
On runs after school
under incandescent sun,
you, stained the Catholic white
of your uniform.
The neighborhood pharmacy, so close to home,
Its air-conditioned interior, a safe cave
away from your stepfather’s eyes.
Reading behind the shelves:
Wonder Woman—and, of course, Superman—
Laughing with the abandon of a girl, just thirteen,
mouth full of stolen candy.
Who else knew?
Your name scratched from morning roll call,
but whispered in the halls as a snake crawl.
Girls huddling in tight groups,
Floating stories with the density of a stone.
Your cascabel voice silenced,
forced to be a sister to your child.
Who will play the guitar at the student show,
or fill the barrio with your laughter?
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- The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: lithopaedion by Carrie Nassif - June 8, 2023