"I'm grateful we're given a day's notice"
Gather my son to eat a dinner of hot soup and crusty bread. Apologize to my sisters for not liking them more. Thank some friends for hours of vivifying talk, but let the calls from others go to voicemail. Touch the pink vinca flowers that blossomed for me through every desert summer and water the indoor plants, because they don’t know what the dark implies. Can I atone for my sins before tomorrow? So I can go up and not down?
Ancient Mayan asteroid Chicxulub, lonely and submerged, will be joined by a more powerful cousin. I’m grateful we’re given a day’s notice; it helps distill detritus from treasure, such as the fluffy breeze on our skin; a black cormorant on the side of the canal stretching out her wings to dry in the sun; the winding trail that ended with a cliff overhanging a tangle of volcanic rock I refused to jump towards. A treasure chest of my life.
Donna Castañeda is currently a student in the MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and will finish in December 2022. She has also been a professor in social psychology for many years at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley. Because she has lived and worked in California's Imperial Valley for over 30 years, much of her work deals with the desert, its immense age and beauty, and the U.S.-Mexico border region. She has served on the review team for literary translation, including for the Gabo Prize in Literary Translation and Multilingual Texts, for Lunch Ticket at Antioch University. Her work has been previously published in Metamorfosis: The Journal of Northwest Chicano Art and Culture and Journal of Undiscovered Poets.