Issue 10,  Poetry

Any Measure by J.L. Lapinel

You are so weird 
was the most loving thing 
my mother said 
and 
you speak Spanish 
that sounds like Armenian 

but her arms were smooth 
and smelled like bread 
and she would let me write on her feet
in pen 
and rasp off the letters
in dusty callus powder 
my words shredded and dismissed 
below her little undefined feet 
with unspoiled 
perfectly aligned toes 
two sizes smaller than mine 

My seat 
the floor beside her feet 
not on the rug – it’s Persian 
And her, so large 
over my head 
looking down her straight eyelashes 
and ski slope bridge 
assessing my features 
for blackheads 
and whatever else 
had gone out of place 

I didn’t make you that way 
she would say 
between the licking of vanilla ice cream 
between the white 
and the pink of her tongue 
between her 
absolutely perfect 
plump lips

____________________________________________________________

J.L. Lapinel is a Latinx writer and educator from Manhattan who is presently an MFA candidate at UMass Amherst. Her work appears in Yellow Arrow Journal, The Wellington Street Review, Cambridge Collection and North American Poetry Review among others. J.L.’s work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2019. She can be found on Twitter @jelelasp. 

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