top of page

when i was thirteen

i swallowed glass


folded skin in crescent light

bathed myself in brown flesh

   (akin to my abuela’s coiled dark hair)


spelt “República Dominicana”

with the dark ringlets wrung

around ridges of wrinkled flesh


sought the solicitous prick

of stark-eyed sparrows

to writhe among mussed waves

of unremitting irradiance


bled limestone terraces

coursed through the Caribbean Sea

and swallowed the salt

collecting on the rifts of my tongue


  (am whole)


melded skin with metal

combined atoms of mosaic tiles

and gabled roofs


held my mother’s soft gaze

among craggy fixtures

and furtive glances


when i was sixteen


lapsed into silence

lips threaded

by my ancestors’ fingers

thrust into my throat


painted clay banks

wore wreaths

of theatrics and red bricks


remained glassy-eyed

alongside flitting tendencies

on the soil of a country

that does not care for the

rolled r’s grafted onto

my family’s tongue


shrunk from relentless punctures

swallowed salt and pallid hues

  (i am resilience strung with las mariposas)


sunk in yellow sand

regurgitated split phrases

cut my skin and peered down

and smiled at the sun’s glare on glass

Brittany Adames is a senior in high school residing in Easton, Pennsylvania. Serving as Editor-in-Chief for the school newspaper as well as an editor for the school's literary magazine YouThink, she spends most of her time writing while planted in front of a computer. She has been recognized as a Silver and Gold Key recipient in the Scholastic Writing Awards and has previously attended Susquehanna University's Advanced Writers Workshop and Kenyon College's Young Writers Workshop.

bottom of page