by Kayla G.

i thought the summer had demons.
i felt them under my tongue.
after the emeralds fell, i bent down to gaze in my mirror, hands welded to my ears
and saw a homunculus.
the ice had gnarled my lips into a brutal snarl
mouth eternally open, exposing the rotten core of my carcass to the cruel embalm of
i was never pretending.
the ultrasound saw my chilled heart before i became Her
winter has had has had had has no room for a negress
there is no soft skin to nestle in
only the deathly pallor of last winter, and the winter before Her
but i’d drown and i did drown,
quietly and frequently.
the swaying vibrations of my branches is weighted down
by the snow.
heavy snow, leeching snow, freezing the sweet sap of my veins,
robbing the song of my roots
i was born in the winter
frozen, still, and rotting.

Title from Erika L. Sánchez’s poem “Poem of my Humiliations.”