Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 3



One Season

Cameron Bocanegra


Everything is ready to be yours
I buried the dog, hung the yellow curtains
Chopped down the tree that gave you
I want to be your only home

It’s true about children
They smell like ripe peaches
You want to hold them
Until they mold

Use my voice as stilts, learn to stumble near
Struggle to wrap your small fingers around my fist
I will keep you here between the night and day
I will swallow the darkness, snuff out the light
Bolt the shutters, change the locks
You will always be safe and never know fear

When your legs stretch into branches I can no longer cradle
And your crowded teeth begin to point hidden ways out of our home
You will bleed more than sap
Ask me if it will pool in the shower
Wonder if you will always be
An open wound

You will pull at your roots, eager to leave me wilting
Drag mulch through the streets and wither beneath a cruel sun
When they come asking of you, if I knew that gone girl
I’ll remember the soft spot that I kissed and kissed
How you touched dark walls like beacons
Dreamed of swallowing the sun

I will lean over your body
The first corpse of an autumn freeze
Tell you this is why I buried you inside
I wish the dog didn’t die for nothing



Cameron Bocanegra: “I am a queer Latina English teacher who lives in Austin, Texas. I studied English Education at Baylor University. I draw inspiration from nature, children, my culture, and my experiences as a former Catholic and current atheist. I admire the work of Lorrie Moore, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sandra Cisneros.”




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