3 poems

by Tanya Castro

There was something about creating at that age that felt like fear while feeling glorious.

International Blvd

I remember in this town where I walked a lot. Everywhere. I saw people that spoke the same language we did, and spoke in a tongue that we also did not understand but there was no threat in the unknown in this town only the known we saw across each other’s eyes that were golden when the sun went down. I walked freely in this town raised by strangers that I did not know but would come close to finding them as my own. I remember in this town where I roamed with my two feet how easy it was to walk down the street and recognize faces even if we never spoke. I understood the golden in their eyes, the color in their hands, and how the sun felt on our tongues.


There’s a picture of me at about three, standing on a chair over the sink, washing dishes at Mami Gloria’s. A smile on my face as I held the foam between my fingers. There was something about creating at that age that felt like fear while feeling glorious. When the foam appeared from void, my hands moved with familiar caress. As gentle as the water was on Day One when there was nothing until there was something. I held Day One on my palm, and with it I formed foam. The more my hands moved like waves, the Day became gentle. The ship didn’t want to be washed away. Other times, I waited until I felt I had lost control, and my hands moved again, blessing the water.

How to Mold Imperfection

The other night I took to wheel throwing,

placed the clay and got my hands wet.

I pressed my hands tight enough

and watched it become.

Somehow, I learned how to pour

water, enough to cover the clay.

I watched it spin furiously

forgetting I was present.

When I was done, I took it

outside, let it bake under the stars.

Later, I asked for the impossible

I asked God to perform surgery on me.

To take my rib and create something

with it. The next morning I woke to

nothing. I pressed my fingers to my

sides, felt the bones still there.

© Tanya Castro

Tanya Castro (she/her) is a writer from Oakland, California. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Saint Mary’s College of California. Tanya’s work is a Best of Microfiction 2022 winner as well as nominated for Best of the Net 2021. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Acentos Review, Lost Balloon and Mason Jar Press.

Find her on Instagram at @tawniecastro.

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