Two Poems by Amanda Rodriguez


Wild things,
Children collect tickets and ribbons
And locks with no keys,
Grimy matchbox cars,
Rusted safety pins, and
Baby teeth.
Shiny treasure trash.
Saving and hiding and hoarding
In boxes and nooks and
Under floorboards.

Like ravens, children are
An unkindness.
They are free and cruel.
They hit and kick and lash
With words,
The caw that maims forever.

Like ravens, children die in short time.
They are reborn as omens,
As adults.


I never wear my glasses.
And so I never see the
Dimpled craters of the moon or the
Reaching veins of leaves on trees,
But the world is softer because of it.

I’d rather the world be an
Abstract watercolor painting than
Filled with the sharpness
Of poisoned water,
Of brown-faced genocide,
Of rape.

I can already smell the primal aroma of fear
Curdled into hate,
Hear the wailing mothers of
Gunned down Black bodies,
Taste the death of the planet on my tongue,
Feel the weariness settling on my
Shoulders like a shroud.

I’ll trade the outline of
Feathers on a bird’s wing and a
Glimpse of Venus in the night sky
For unlined faces,
For my illusions of
The innocence of children
And the innate goodness of
The human heart.

Amanda Rodriguez

Amanda Rodriguez is a queer, first generation Cuban-American and an environmental activist living in Weaverville, NC. She holds an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. Her short fiction, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry can be found in Germ MagazinePine Mountain Sand & GravelMud Season ReviewThoughtful DogRigorousStoneboat Literary JournalNILVX (upcoming), and Cold Creek Review (upcoming).

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