The 2River View 28.3 (Spring 2024)

Angela Narciso Torres


In the dream, in bed with a cold,
I asked God for my mom back.
God misheard and brought

my bob back instead, that sleek cut
I wore in junior high, blade-edged,
barely grazing the shoulders

one side curtaining my right eye,
the other tucked behind
my ear like a secret. I was still

the gangly twelve-year-old
my brothers teased: When you stand
sideways no one can see you.

That year, Aunt Girlie, back from America,
scanned me from head to toe
saying, don’t worry, hon,

even Twiggy made it without ’em.
Mom looked away, not knowing
whether to laugh or cry. If God

brought my mom back, I would’ve said,
flipping my bob, it’s okay, Mom.
I’ll be okay. And I was.



The bees arrived on a Wednesday
a dense nebula whirling over
bougainvillea in bloom. Like a bevy

of aunts fussing over a newborn,
their hum and drone reached fever pitch
from the window where we watched

the brown cloud waver in June sun.
That night, curtains blown apart,
bee pheromones and jasmine soaking

the summer breeze, our bodies
became willing colonies of each other,
limbs tangling in honeyed heat.
We woke to find a few scouts staggering
among the blossoms, drowsy with nectar
and morning light. The hive hung near

the white fence, an army of thousands
quivering in that huddle of sweetness—
swarming, sated, alive.

Angela Narciso Torres is the author of three poetry collections, the most recent being What Happens is Neither (Four Way Books). Torres is a reviews editor for RHINO, and her work appears in POETRY, Poetry Northwest, and Prairie Schooner. website
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