Laura Villareal


Laura Villareal is from a small town in Texas with more cows than people. She earned an MFA from Rutgers University-Newark. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Apogee, Black Warrior Review, Breakwater Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Freezeray, Reservoir, The Boiler, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and scholarships from The Highlights Foundation, Key West Literary Seminar, and VONA/ Voices. She is a reader at Winter Tangerineand an editorial intern at Sundress Publications. You can read more of her work at

The Long Trajectory of Grief

A squeal cracks bright like hot metal in water. Before
the sun has licked across the fields, I wonder how to save myself

before guilt sets like a stain. I wonder
if the constellations above me can lift guilt or if they’re only

a temporary solution for what I feel. In the morning
I find three wild boars in the street, dead. A red

bumper lying near one of their carcasses.
Is the nature of a crash to always leave something behind?

Fog glimmers up from the road forsaken
by first light. I pretend not to notice

your absence— how my car isn’t spiced with your oakmoss
& mint anymore. But I pray the vultures pick me

clean like a Tibetan sky
burial before anyone smells grief on me.

© The Acentos Review 2018