“On the eve of my birth” by Cynthia Román-Cabrera

the wind howled into the night,

pitter-patter green rain

pounded on my chest

and tumbled upon the land.

Soot and bushy, I wandered

with the climb of a high,

paper wings flamed

made of journals,

an emergency of strength.

Beaten furiously,

sticky with wet, latched to

burrows beneath the earth,

like arms sapped by the many,

a kite,

a puppet.

Tormented hands of guilt,

tethered the clouds,

sliced trees,

held court and flirted with

gray and floods.

—those fucking wings

plucked and groomed,

screams into an icy river,

extinguished the fever:



Wings of teeth

and word

and stump,


Before long

I left my shadow,

chased the escape.

Time behaves—

longs for the spaces

where breath

came easy.

I crawled

through my scalp

quilted a blanket,

smoothed baby hairs,

plucked at the empty



Cynthia J. Román-Cabrera is a native Bronx, New Yorker born to Dominican and Puerto Rican parents. Her poetry has appeared at The Bronx Magazine, Spanglish Voces and elsewhere.

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