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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

Hot and Cold


by Celeste Ramos

I’m never afraid of what’s ahead
unless it’s a mirror showing me what’s behind
I don’t fear monsters, I fear stoves
I don’t fear muddy boots, I fear house slippers
the smell of starchy clean sheets
and iron steam
I’m never afraid of the potholes or the road
I’m afraid of being jolted out of sleep
by rats running across my hand

The only future I fear is that of my parents’ past
I don’t fear never as much as I fear always
And lying down will always be more terrifying than standing up
I fear my childhood more than old age
I’d rather sleep under a bridge than thrive in a cage

I’m never afraid of the dark of night
because an empty day is the cavern of a wolf’s mouth
I’m too aware of the quicksand of Now
the importance to keep moving while being present
being aware, split in two
between what I want and what’s likely to happen

shadows and sun sailing over my bones
scare me more than any hot or any cold

Header photograph © Christopher Woods.

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1 comment

  1. […] My work has appeared in Shooter Literary Magazine #5, Narratively’s Nostalgic for New York series and the All-Time Best Memoirs list, and Barren Magazine. […]

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