Catalina Adragna

Two Poems


Catalina Adragna is twenty three years old and a Poetry MFA Candidate at Rutgers University-Newark with an undergrad at Bennington College where she studied Poetry and Drama. She has previous publications in Eunoia Review, Delta Poetry Review, and Silo Literary Magazine. She is a Gemini and a Pocha.

no, I wasn’t always this short 

                  after Sara Borjas 


or maybe I’m just enduring like I’m always 

enduring other things, like the pinch of my mother 

when I was too scared of that needle but the pinch 

pained me harder than the prick or the heartbreak 

of my brother when he stopped wanting to play 

using bowls as hats and started using toy

guns as guns. I ask myself why I care so much 

about the actions of others, of the things I cannot 

control and I look in the mirror and weep 

saying my name three times hoping I’ll appear 

in a form larger than I am. I am nine 

in my dreams when I imagine my father 

is dead and I drink chocolate milk 

like coffee and ask questions about 

choking on my baby teeth. I am nine 

feet taller than I should be. I say no 

when I mean yes. More importantly, 

I say nothing when I mean no. When I walk

down the street I walk under “For Sale” signs 

without ducking. I am as small as a life size 

Elmo doll I used to kiss to feel something. His

red skin makes me think of the red underbelly 

of a spider or the red blood hiding under my 

white skin. My White skin hiding under my 

White name hiding under my Aztec head. I 

am spoken to in Spanish and answer in 

English. I shortened my name to make 

myself fit in. I wasn’t always this short, 

it’s just the White world forcing me 

to endure, shortening me until I’m

one of them. 















trauma is short, healing is long


the night I met La Llorona, her limbs melted

into a bowl she asked me to eat. I wondered 

why there were two separate words for unicorns

and those with wings as I slopped up an arm 


and two soggy legs and drank the shavings. I 

cried with her as we sung songs about those 

who have wandered so far from our hearts 

the strings frayed and caused a friction so deep 


the fire burnt down the house our bodies lied 

within. she nestled into my lap and I stroked 

her head and combed her unsullied hair until 

the stories of her children tied a lasso around 


my wrists, pulling me into her scalp until we were 

heads on heads, tied together by grief. she whispered 

she would not drown me, only leave me in my own 

company. I no longer understand why I cry, 


only that it consumes me.

© The Acentos Review 2019