“ …if I met one in the forest, it would not kill me.” — Villette, Charlotte Brontë
I love him more than you, my green. You draw a map for me to find him on a sack from your mother’s kitchen. I loop records scratch and watch you play pool with your friends, peak my head in to watch you, and then twirl back to stair steps. Green. Yes, I am a doll, yes I am tiny, but you are a boy, you are child. There are shutter cowboy doors that sing open themselves, the workings of this house, and I ache the way paper claws me at night, as I read your book. I am only a guest in this house, and I am more clever than anyone here, here in the lamp light.
I can hear him calling from trees, the roots roped at my ankles and then letting me go. My green leaves me letters in hollow places, and I pull them out, the taste of dirt cake and fire spite in my mouth. The city glows and when I see it, I clasp my hand on my throat and think of our walks on the river. Your fingertips green on my wrist. I love the goblin more than you, my green. That is mine, my home on the scape. Green. You cannot make me cry in my righteous city. I have made my bride gown, growing, not for doll clothes, my gown, my green, blowing bright beneath me.
Monique Quintana is a Xicana from Fresno, CA, and the author of the novella Cenote City (Clash Books, 2019). Her work has appeared in Pank, Wildness, The Acentos Review, and Winter Tangerine, among other publications. She has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Microfiction, and the Pushcart Prize. Also, she has been awarded artist residencies to Yaddo, The Mineral School, and Sundress Academy of the Arts. She has also received support from the Community of Writers, the Open Mouth Poetry Retreat, and she was the inaugural winner of Amplify’s Megaphone Fellowship for a Writer of Color. You can find her @quintanagothic and moniquequintana.com.