It was as simple as holding the countertop
in the kitchen with the cold bay
of windows. My left shoulder stung,
and I counted the chips in the green tile.

I’m not sure how I keep the cold at bay.
Now the shoes I wore have a scrape,
although they weren’t chipped that day.
My vision is blurred, and it’s hard

to put myself back in those shoes, scraping
by with a Mom who doesn’t touch me anymore.
I have to adjust my eyes to the hard fact
that, when my dad calls, he prays I answer.

Mom doesn’t touch me anymore,
and September chimes an alarm.
When Dad calls, he prays there’ll be an answer
on the other end of the line.

September returns like an alarm.
After what that friend’s hand did to me, I
had to become my own lifeline.
I count on holding on to the countertop.


Tricia Lopez was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of MORIA Literary Magazine and a former Grant Writing Intern for Sundress Publications.  She has had poems, stories, and author interviews published in Cultural Weekly, Athena, and Marias At Sampaguitas. Tricia recently published her first chapbook titled In Time I Will. She also recently graduated with a degree Professional Writing from Woodbury University in December. You can find her on Instagram @trvcvv.l and on Twitter @trvcvvl.