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Separate

All summer I washed clothes in the sink, worried

to lose them in the communal pile of laundry

 

la doña would throw on the couch for us to sort.

I’d write down anything I placed in the basket—

 

blue cat pajama pants, yellow daisy skirt.

But I never gave her my black clothes, afraid

 

they would fade grey drying on the Spanish rooftop.

I washed those by hand—

 

the black jeans, black shorts, black long skirt

with the bleach-stained hem, black tank top,

 

black strapless bra that he took off

while parked on the empty fairgrounds at 7AM, black

 

polished nails on the dashboard,

black pupil, freckle, black

 

thong on the carpet, black

blood on the leather, on the sand walking home.

 
 
 
 

Diannely Antigua is a Dominican American poet and educator, born and raised in Massachusetts. She is currently an MFA candidate at New York University, a Squaw Valley Community of Writers fellow, and Associate Poetry Editor for BOAAT. Her book Ugly Music, forthcoming from YesYes Books, was chosen for the 2017 Pamet River Prize. Winner of the Bodega Poetry Contest, her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her poems can be found in Day One, Vinyl, Split Lip Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Reservoir, and elsewhere. Her heart is in Brooklyn.