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Poetry, Michelle Leal

Blackberry jam

on pan amasado,

Navel oranges,

and conversation

in the form of bad

poetry: run-ons,

improper syntax,

and made-up words.

I sit next

to my father,

who never lets me

win at chess

because he knows

I am capable –

no man has ever

had the courage

to love me like this.

Gilded rays seep

through the window

blinds and bathe

an imitation of Monet’s

Garden at Sainte-Adresse

on the wall above us

when my mother enters

from the front yard,

holding a bundle

of shamrock thorns

and crimson petals,

says, Estas rosas

nacen para ti.*

*These roses

are born for you.


Michelle Leal (she/her) is a nineteen-year-old Chilean American writer. She loves to paint her nails wine red and isn’t allergic to anything but dislikes olives (unless they’re chopped so very finely that they’re tasteless in the mix).


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