I study her hip bones, mid-day.
Something crackles through the trees—no, a withering.
I let the last malanga rot on the counter because it is easier
not to have to cut another thing open.
Bulls in my blood, pawing. The winter of it all.
Days later, I made another woman my enemy.
I followed her for three blocks before I tripped over my envy,
forgot to lessen myself. When I hit the sidewalk,
I felt my mother fall in Florida, and her mother, the same.
But I am smaller now than I was then. Please, do not ask
about my thens.
Leslie Sainz’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in jubilat, AGNI, Narrative, Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Journal, and elsewhere. A 2019 National Poetry Series finalist, she’s received scholarships and fellowships from CantoMundo, The Miami Writers Institute, The Adroit Journal, and The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. She is a first-generation Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami. (updated 4/2020)