Mother pockets the wind in her glove. Mother recites erev shabbat & birkat hamazon. Mother picks Gushers at Target. Mother picks sweater stitches from my mouth. Mother sighs. Mother coughs. Mother is a statue, but tender. Mother is a birthday present, wrapped in newspaper—the opinion section, not the news. Mother rises the sun with her eyes. Mother reminds me to love everything, even my shame & my fear & my longing, & my longing. Mother lets go of my hand, says it won’t hurt—

Talia Flores is an undergraduate at Stanford University. A Pushcart Prize Nominee, recipient of the Texas Book Festival Fiction Prize, and winner of the 2017 Gabelle Prize for Writing, her work appears or is forthcoming in Hobart, Bennington Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Gigantic Sequins, and more. She is the Managing Editor for The Blueshift Journal, a fellow at Stanford’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts, and a member of the Stanford Spoken Word Collective.