Poetry, Camila Islas
Scrapbooks, paper maché butterflies,
The world was my stage and I played God.
From a wedding picture torn in half,
A catholic who spared her rosary raised an atheist
In a pink fifty-two meter squared bubble.
Ibuprofen, a three-day suitcase, scrabble,
A rambling lonesome child, too smart for her years,
A sixty-one-year-old woman in a child’s
Limping body. I ran nonetheless.
What I remember is Mama always smiling, guard never down.
When I slept I was a martyr, a hero, a vampire,
A damsel in control, a Pulitzer Prize winner.
When no one was looking, I stretched my hand over the cage
Hoping to pet the tiger. I ran like I was invincible.
I was Christine Daee, daughter of Persephone,
Descendant of Cleopatra, I helped Anastasia escape;
I was an Ankylosaurus, a neurosurgeon, I sailed the Black Pearl.
I was a murderous housewife, the queen who bled golden;
A peaceful woman who ran and ran and ran and...
I can’t remember how to run any longer.
Camila Islas is a twenty-one-year-old Mexican/Venezuelan writer who is currently studying English Literature in the Creative Writing Track at New York University. Her work spans a variety of genres including fiction, experimental fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, written both in English and Spanish. She is passionate about literature, film, theatre, history, and art in all of its forms. Some artists who constantly inspire her work are Sylvia Plath, Julio Cortázar, Annie Dillard, Lorrie Moore, and Wes Anderson. Find her on IG @camilaislaas or her website. To read more of Camila’s work, visit her Substack or the SF Winter 2023 issue Ballads.