conversations with la llorona i

who can help but hope you’re living large

at this very moment, day drinking with scheherazade

& turandot down by the banks of the rio grande?

i hope you’re glowing violet with hunger, cheeks

wet as bone marrow—maria, o maria, the name

for you i only recently learned. same name

as my grandmother, who once spent an unending

summer polishing the silverware of an old german

countess displaced to costa rica. how the riches

shook & shone in her kid-hands, how she dreamed

of her own coming into multiple sets of clothes & fine

china—now, whatever she has, she treasures. do you long

to treasure your roaming husband in all his hazy havoc, maria?

stop all the screaming & just settle down? my grandmother

once said she never hated anyone until her first divorce

at 28, when he screamed away on a motorcycle, left her &

the baby crying on the front porch. said she hated him more

than death. is this how horror stories, like yours, are made?


Adelina Rose Gowans is a 17-year-old second-generation Costa Rican/Honduran-American writer and artist with a love for floral dresses and big skies. Her work has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Hollins University, University of Virginia, Leyla Beban Young Writers Foundation, and elsewhere. She is previously published or forthcoming in Scholastic’s Best Teen Writing 2020, The Interlochen Review, The Minnesota Review, Storyscape Journal, Atlas + Alice, Barely South Review, and Cargoes, among other places. More of her personal projects can be seen at https://www.adelinarose.me/.