yvanna vien tica
"IN OUR FIRST SUBURB,"
a cardinal spilled blood-like into our birdbath / the squirrels knew
the shapes of our front door enough to flee when my father opened
away from the chipped screen / even the people’s smiles glinted
with history / one night, my parents left me with a woman from church
to reprieve their sorrowed back of the words and their sudden aches /
as if knowing, the woman loved me by helping stitch suitcases
out of my black hair / as if knowing, I suddenly heard the TV
in our living room call us names before exiting to a news reporter
rationalizing the outburst of breath / on our last day, the squirrels stopped
being afraid of my father / the birds were soon long gone / the last
thing I remember seeing through childlike eyes / a mirror / or
a dirty cardinal catching the rise of the wind, before marooning
lightly on the birdbath we couldn’t bring / ourselves to clean
Yvanna Vien Tica is a hearing-impaired Filipina writer who grew up in Manila and in a suburb near Chicago. Her work has beenrecognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, The Kenyon Review, The Young Playwrights Festival, Princeton University's Creative Writing Department, and has appeared or is forthcoming in EX/POST Magazine, DIALOGIST, Hobart, and Shenandoah, among others. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Faith Review, a Senior Editor for Polyphony Lit, a Teen Guest Editor for Inlandia: A Literary Journey, and a Poetry Editor for The Global Youth Review. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying nature and thanking God for another day. Find her on Twitter @yvannavien.