That morning you found pieces
of glass in your hands, a souvenir
of the birthday party in the house the night before,
me, the birthday girl twirling
in a dazzle of lights.
You said I looked beautiful
and wiped my bloody cheek.
At breakfast we stayed quiet. Later you told me
that it was just a dream the way the boys
took their turns, my dress pulled up
over my head, a crown of flounce and furor.
You told me that sex was like that. Violent
and rough. Part of the fun, you said
when you threw parties in different neighborhoods.
Beforehand I made hors d’oeuvres and crudités
in special shapes, and you said
they looked beautiful
and asked me why I was crying
into the fingerlings of carrots. I told you cooking
was like that. It takes hours to prepare
all the pieces and then it’s all gone
with the hungry swarm.
By Genevieve DeGuzman
Genevieve DeGuzman’s fiction and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Indigo Lit, LONTAR, Liminality, and Asian Journal (now Tablet), among others. She is a winner of the Oregon Poetry Association’s New Poets Contest (2017, 2nd place) and has been a literary arts resident at Can Serrat in El Bruc, Spain. She is also the co-author of Working in the UnOffice, one of the first books to chronicle the global coworking movement. Currently living in Portland, Oregon, Genevieve is working on her first novel and on perfecting her hygge. Get updates at about.me/genevievedeguzman.