\ \ n. 1. Auburn, gold, and blossom cherry: our fingers, two rings and
my tongue along your ear/ Electric lighter, gas stove good time/ Praying for
lightning. 2. Man-made, made man, fire. 3. This woman's need for the
family lost to the guerilleros/ This man's efforts to be her village/ Inferno. 4.
A bump barring in the words I don't love you anymore as he kisses her belly
for the Christmas card photo. 5. The end of an argument in the emergency
room. 6. What we lost in the flames. \ \ v. 1. To nurse, cure with promises,
a cocktail of words, each word mixed in to strengthen the other/ Marry me
. 2. To link by umbilical cord/ To cut the cord and hit the thing's bot-
tom so we hear it breathe. 3. To hear silence instead.


*Selected for the 2023 Bloomsday Film Festival*

Directed by Matthew Thompson.

From Stepmotherland by Darrel Alejandro Holnes. © 2022 by Darrel Alejandro Holnes. Reprinted by permission of University of Notre Dame Press.