Illustration by Nora Grace-Flood.

Illustration by Nora Grace-Flood.


My father was born with a sailor’s
tongue and ice blue eyes. A burning
face. He holds nothing back. From anyone.
Music is his outlet. Without it, he transforms
into a raging volcano. Spurting lava
from his mouth that sears my skin.

My mother was born with deep brown
eyes and dark curls. Snow white skin.
And a low blue flame burns inside. It is lit
by harsh words, cruel glances. Pen to paper
she draws serenity. Tranquility. Takes a charcoal stick, and transfers it to her face.

I was born with big eyes and too much
curiosity. A racing mind and slow reflexes.
I have been given art. Music. Poetry. Stories. Books. Sometimes I misplace my anger
and later find it stuck in a painting. A self
portrait with a few scars that are not visible
to humans. Other times I catch it rising
in my throat and throw it into a song.
But most times I can’t decide where
my feelings belong, and store them in bottles
around my waist. I think this will make me
stronger, but I grow weary. One day, soon, I fear the glass will shatter.

—By Nora Grace-Flood