The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

On the Bright Side

April 30, 2013

Hartwick junior named poetry prize winner

(Continued)

to ensure that I stood out in the streets, an orange

hanging from banana-tree branches. Gringa, gringa! White girl.

Blonde girl. Eyes-that-are-not-brown girl.

From-los estados-but-still-speaks-Spanish

girl. 20-years-old-but-no-tiene-hijas girl. But

in the immediate world outside this tub, I’m

went-to-Peru-and-won’t-shut-up girl.

Thinks-she’s-a-saint-’cause-she-taught-some-kids

girl. So why don’t you just go back there,

Girl? My shower curtain is a map of the world-

a puzzle of colored land-chunks that I visit

as I lather. With soapy hands I can crinkle the oceans,

turn continents to neighbors. Orange next to yellow;

blue right there with green. When South America

meets our East Coast, I’ll dry my hair and walk on over.

But I’ll have to sew the soapy slickness because as soon as I let go,

the crinkly plastic hangs, heavy with the weight

of continents and water, and the countries fall back into place.

And I don’t want to be

drowned-in-the-oceans’-distance

girl.

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On the Bright Side

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