Monday, September 28, 2015

#181: "Y" by Colleen Carias

~This poem was previously published in Sin Fronteras: Writers Without Borders Journal (2011).


I have another X
so I am dragged from the tent
kicking  yowling  as gray grandma chides
go sleep with the girls in the house
Boo and his buds can camp outside
they have a Y instead
can roll in red dirt and fart and squirt
aim spitballs   moon the neighbors  belch a song
and I should comb my mass of hair
wear a curly dress my brother would dare to see me in
ten is too old  the wagging finger scolds
to sit on common mango trees  shoot
the breeze with geckos grazing up my arm
I watch through glass   wild colts passing
under the weeping window   watch me



At a writing workshop, the assignment was painful past. At my laptop, the blinking cursor on the screen mesmerized. Past: tropical islands, tradewinds blowing warm. Painful: portuguese man-of-war, blue stings and salt tears. Blink. Blinking line separated fading landscape pictures from . . . the day’s headlines, glass slippers, glass ceilings, invisible female executives. It would appear I connected a long ago memory to a deep coming-of-age, knowing my place in the world kind-of-story. But, no. After typing the lines that followed the grey ghost, the taciturn matriarch who knew all, who insinuated herself throughout childhood summers; after the last question mark I didn’t place—why, the cursor was still blinking. I didn’t quite understand what had happened. Again, a beat behind, a sting, a warm hug. That moment of being no one, in-between knowings.

A Santa Fe poet from Hawaii by way of New York, Colleen Carias’s work appears in print and online journals and anthologies. Recent poems appear in the Kenning Journal, Off the Coast, Blast Furnace Press. Coauthor of “Braided Voices” a book of poems, she lives in northern New Mexico with her husband Barry Herskowitz.

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