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About this poet

Christina Olivares received an MFA from CUNY Brooklyn College. She is the author of No Map of the Earth Includes Stars (Marsh Hawk Press, 2015), winner of the 2014 Marsh Hawk Press Book Prize. Olivares has received residencies and awards from the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Teachers and Writers, among others. She currently serves as a K-12 teacher and lives in the Bronx in New York City.

Portrait

              of you: small girl in a torn dress,

the dress is pink as a dream, a tongue, jacaranda-jeweled tree 
 
a fire beside. What 
 
is left behind is never 
left behind if we never 
             disown its weight 
                                                                                      Let her and her press 
                                                              her body here 
                                                   and there or lie:
 
you might become any burned house

an open palm upon which these future ghosts will cut
astonished rivers 
 
                                       Everything, and yearning, might snag in your current 

You might

 
become night, a succession of her and her mouths
Lucid. A hot swift. A starling startling northwards. Lonely but good, 
                        you’re so good that when clouds open over Fordham Road you 
 
                                                       
                                                               turn mythical 
 
                                                    turn into a palomita and rise, rise into 
 
                                       smoke, a burn scar 
 
                         a child’s daydream: am I becoming, have I begun 

Copyright © 2018 Christina Olivares. This poem originally appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2018 Christina Olivares. This poem originally appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review. Used with permission of the author.

Christina Olivares

Christina Olivares is the author of No Map of the Earth Includes Stars (Marsh Hawk Press, 2015), winner of the 2014 Marsh Hawk Press Book Prize. She lives in the Bronx in New York City.