Photo: Daniel Ramirez / Design: A.D.S.

A Poem by Amanda Huynh

the front yard is empty of snow the bushes do not hold out prickly leaves the front door does not sit unlocked the carpet is not worn from couch legs the bathroom is not tight enough the perfumes are not on the dresser the window does not frame jeans on the line the back door does not know how to slide open the trees do not play tag in the backyard the neighbor across the street is not a girl the bikes cannot run down the sidewalk the park does not have a fading blue slide the grocery store does not sell pan dulce the church does not have Nuestro Padre the words the mother speaks do not sing the kitchen does not smell like sweating onions the mother does not flatten tortillas the father does not come home for lunch the dining table does not play Lotería the hallways do not laugh the daughter does not celebrate her birthday with cousins the garage does not hang piñatas from the ceiling the streets are not untangled the city does not have tíos the mother does not smile the daughter cannot remember

Amanda Huynh is a native Texan living in Virginia. She attends the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. She was a finalist for the 2015 Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize and recently was one of eight poets to receive a 2016 Intro Journals Project Award. Her work is published or forthcoming in the following journals: Tahoma Literary Review, Muzzle Magazine, Huizache, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal.