The submissions deadline is Friday, February 17, 2023.
I didn’t hear it at first.
I was eleven, worn flip-flops
and scarred knees, waiting on the bench outside
for my mother to finish her hair. A car driving by—
I heard the wheels and then the shouting, unintelligible at first
and then I understood. They were loud, and I was so
alone, eleven years old in my pink sundress with the big pockets
and fifty cents extra change burning a hole in them,
the shame of my own body burning two holes
in my cheeks. The rain
was suspended in the air, invisible droplets
brushing up against my skin; it was only
a matter of time.
I want to spend my life doing something I love and I want to be as happy as I can, as often as I can.
My parents are my biggest inspiration because of how far they’ve come, how hard they work, and the sacrifices they consistently make for me and our family.