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& after you wake
you will be different: a god made soft
enough to never hurt you again
held you this close to the world: a myth told
at the end of autumn when your body was
naked with the lights off & all
you could remember was the voice
of someone you forgot—someone
you loved—

from TESTAMENT #90, Michael Wasson


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Perséfone’s fingers are thin and long, like La Calle Septima, one of the main streets in Bogotá, Colombia, where her family is originally from. She used to play the cello. I saw it one night soon after we began hanging out—body buried in a black bag—tossed in a back ditch of her bedroom, a thin stream of dust coating the shell. That night, I didn't ask about it. If I had, she might have shut down and uploaded herself into the dust of satellites, unreturned texts and trails of indecipherable emojis.

I always thought that a cello looks like a swan: a long slender neck curving into rounded hips. Perséfone, a girl with the gravest of expressions, could be either the cello buried in her bedroom, resplendent but untouched, an instrument with no voice; or the swan sailing across the water, alone and determined.

— from Perséphone in the Summer, Mónica Teresa Ortiz