Growing up, it was hard to forgive
my sister when she grew angry, though she took me
away from home when our parents fought. They
thought money and fast food were
ways of saying sorry. Though delicious
as these Happy Meals were, only so
many plastic figurines and nuggets with sweet
and sour sauce could fill up the void love leaves. And
the two of us scarcely hugged each other, except for when it was so
dark outside that we didn’t want to lose each other in the cold.
When the thread of my being catches the edge of an engine,
I will barely feel the slice.
When the butterknife swipes my bread,
it will hardly leave an imprint.
When this photograph gets wet, it will marble at its corner,
When the day is done, my computer is still humming.
Only then do I feel its heat.
When I grab a towel, the shelf will tremble, then sit still.
Maybe a thing falls—like a sock, scarf, or shirt.
I will find this thing when I move out and bag it up
and realize I never noticed its absence.
Dawn Angelicca Barcelona is a Filipina-American poet based in San Francisco. She is the recipient of a SF Foundation/Nomadic Press Literary Award in 2022. Her work appears in Killing the Angel, In Parentheses, and sPARKLE & bLINK.