maria, maria, maria, my soul has undone itself &
now i am a flask filled up with firelight, mouthy
& wide-open like a summertime wound. thunderstorm
last night left a starling lying broken in the red mud
of grandmother’s garden, & i thought to name it after
you & her, both in such close proximity to death,
but not quite there. the bird is named nothing, though,
& my grandmother’s gasoline-yellow eyes watch its body
unwind & marrow into palmetto state dirt. o maria, how
does it feel to become fully content in chasing strangers?
you, the saint of undying; you have always owned the white
dress look. teach me to be ruthless & yet still lovely in the
becoming of all these eons of annihilation. all these eons
you & my grandmother will spend haunting.
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/.