slits

when i was thirteen

i swallowed glass

i

folded skin in crescent light

bathed myself in brown flesh

   (akin to my abuela’s coiled dark hair)

i

spelt “República Dominicana”

with the dark ringlets wrung

around ridges of wrinkled flesh

i

sought the solicitous prick

of stark-eyed sparrows

to writhe among mussed waves

of unremitting irradiance

i

bled limestone terraces

coursed through the Caribbean Sea

and swallowed the salt

collecting on the rifts of my tongue

i

  (am whole)

i

melded skin with metal

combined atoms of mosaic tiles

and gabled roofs

i

held my mother’s soft gaze

among craggy fixtures

and furtive glances

 

when i was sixteen

i

lapsed into silence

lips threaded

by my ancestors’ fingers

thrust into my throat

i

painted clay banks

wore wreaths

of theatrics and red bricks

i

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

i

shrunk from relentless punctures

swallowed salt and pallid hues

  (i am resilience strung with las mariposas)

i

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.

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