My two poems will be published in UC Berkeley’s Maganda Magazine | Issue 25, “Broke”

Very cool. Just got the word that two of my poems will be published in {m}agandá Magazine. It’s a wonderful student-run, academic publication founded in 1989. I’m very happy to be part of it again and that my two poems found a suitable home.

Here’s one of the poems that’s being published:

She knocks on my door and says, “Open up.”

I tell her, “I won’t pretend I’m good at forgiving.” I find out
you kissed her in the blue walking lanes at Berkeley four years ago.
I cry for hours when she tells me. She recounts the secret dates
to Disneyland, the secret trips from LA to Cal, the secret you’ve kept
with her when we were apart. I hear my voice scurry, all nerve gone.
I am full of malice, spite, and I swear to myself: fuck, please, don’t
kill her. I throw her a Milwaukee beer and we sit on the couch to talk.

She says, “I lied to you for him.” She tells me she wanted my yellow
skin, my black hair, my breasts, my arms. “I needed him to want me
how he wanted you.” She takes my hands and holds them against
the plastered wall. I see her dark skin enveloping mine. I tell her
I wanted her trust. Her friendship. Her face becomes convoluted, scrunching
into a small, small ball. She says, “We could have never been friends.”

I clasp her hands in mine and turn my head away from her. I tell her
the same things she told me: I wanted her dark skin, her still countenance,
her silence, her control. I say, “I wanted to be what I couldn’t be for him.”
I let her hold my hands as if they were air, like a memory. Our mouths are
closed and we don’t say anything. I let the silence fill me: I am a cup full
of water.

This is when I tell her we are married.
The room becomes larger.

Her face is now flesh without such violence, and she takes her hands
away from me, letting them lay flatly against her chest. She stands up,
her back hunched like a bent tree, and cries under a white, fluorescent
sky. She leaves without a word, and I become slow, slow, saying
this trick: I am diminished and all right.

By the way, this poem is part of a series of persona poems called, “The Dreamscape of a Military Wife.” Hopefully the other poems in the series will find a home too.


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