“alexa, start my day?”
new normal, life on venus,
red sky, burning, protestors.
new city, extra locks, blazing
pistol under the bed, steel protectors.
hit the gym, pumping iron, barely breathing,
hands behind head, good-mornings. head
home, Honda trailing you, three men,
windows down, can’t breathe, whistling
pistol under the bed—this kind of mourning.
lock the door, forget the men, take a selfie,
top off, bra on, lips pressed, hair undone,
hips stretched, peace sign for your ancestors
who hold you, love your selfies, feel
your heart pulsing there, inside your phone.
stop—hold this, your power, this moment:
fresh hot sun bleeding in those vertical blinds,
surrounding you in the kind of warmth
you haven’t felt in weeks, caressing ankles
and ribs, reminding your lonely bits they’re still alive.
Ciara Alfaro is a graduate of Colgate University, where she studied creative writing and women's studies. Her work has been published or is forthcoming by Cutthroat, *82 Review, Green Briar Review, and Barely South Review. She is an MFA Candidate at the University of Minnesota and currently lives in Minneapolis.