Issue Three:

Esmeralda Gamez

WINTER 2020/21

Poetry

By 4:28AM

I lay awake staring

out open windows

            until the sky turns pink

            until the light comes back.

My mother’s voice echoes

off the ceiling

            cuando tengas hijos

            cuando te cases

My father’s voice growls

from under the bed

            esos no son hombres

            no quiero que te conviertan

A hand wraps around my ankle

its fingers tapping against my skin

            a tap for every year that passes

            a tap for every long-haired crush

It pulls me, says it’ll be easier

            to bite back all the words

            to birth an uncurved version of myself

It drags me toward the dark,

ripping me in two, knows

my greatest fear; living with half

my body

in the closet.

QUINCE magazine

Esmeralda Gamez is a graduate of Fresno State's MFA Program. Her work can be found in Fresno State publications: The San Joaquin Review, The San Joaquin Review Online, Flies, CockroachesPoets as well as Taco Bell Quarterly and Azahares.