Cynthia Plascencia

Plascencia Bio Picture


Cynthia Plascencia is a third-year MFA student in poetry at the University of New Hampshire and currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for their online literary journal, Barnstorm. As a native Houstonian, she graduated from the University of Houston in 2010 with a B.A. in English – Creative Writing. Her poems can be found in Glass Mountain, Pebble Lake Review, Prairie Margins, and East Coast Literary Review, among others.


Lila Downs filled the kitchen

last night. That childhood song

I hadn’t heard in years,

believed abandoned in the native land

of Puebla and my father’s

over played tape, hung over me

like a burned veil that held the ginger

smell of ashes and my mother’s

boiled lentils. A song that made

my father cry, which then made

me cry, and we all cried into

chewed limes and shots rimmed in salt.


On the song’s fifth loop we stood,

his feet shuffling in the altos.

Lila echoed the Nahuatl sounds

my father grew to forget as a man – 

sounds of his grandmother.

I held on, hoping to lift him up,

become as light as those notes

Lila reached with ease.


We stayed long after the tape clicked,

long after my mother shook her head

and went to bed.



It was something between

a rollie pollie and severed lobster

tail, able to change colors.

Mutated, perhaps, by my mother’s

cleansers, bottled combinations

of Ajax and Everclear.

It disappeared over the yellow

of the tub caulking until I caught it

last night with a plaque scraper.


I cut it open, drained over my finger,

turning my skin a porcelain shade.

How easy it is to be white,

my mother told her sisters in Mexico,

poised on a lawn chair in starched

Salmon capris, forgetful of her youngest

child, so close to her feet and darker

than the avocados strewn by the road.


© The Acentos Review 2015