Monday Jun 24

GenevieveDeGuzman Genevieve DeGuzman’s work appears or is forthcoming in Cider Press Review, FIVE:2:ONE, FOLIO, LONTAR, Reed Magazine, Strange Horizons, Switchback, and elsewhere. She is a finalist for the 2018 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Prize, a finalist for the 2017 Lauren K. Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize, and a winner of the 2017 Oregon Poetry Association’s New Poets Contest. She was born in the Philippines, grew up in Southern California, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.


He was crossing the meadow when he saw her
on the bluff, legs tucked under

a blue dress, the image of the painted Wyeth girl
but brighter. 

He waited for a moment like this all summer, idle 
encounter he could use to talk to her

at last. In their eighth grade class, he kept 
his distance, pocketed goodluck trinkets to keep:

How she walked barefoot on the grass, 
the way her bracelets jangled on her wrists, her knobby 

elbows when she pulled her black hair
back in a ponytail, revealing another one now: 

clavicles, hers. Elegant ballerina 
bones she wore so well that he muttered the word 

“Xylophone.” Just a few stylish syllables 
light on his tongue, lighting into 

what he wished for: “Xylophone.” 
Banter of hellos through a tyranny of teeth

his words the mallets tapping off-
key on collared harmonicon bars, until she stepped 

toward him. The music in her knowing laugh enough 
to run the scales for him, to sing the encounter.