Coming Out to My Mother

by Sophia Apodaca

A sunday afternoon breeze sweeps the fallen; waves open a screen door; green and blue bins
fill the street; a wafer cone with an untouched scoop of vanilla cries; my mother counting loose
gravel grasps her hair and takes one step back. A reel lawn mower ratchets next door; muffles
our silence. A group of children with party blowers cut the thread between us. Her shoulder pulls
away. I reach out. She leans back on the neighbors rusted ‘94 Chevy; wipes dripping sugar from
her hand. Pupils glisten at me.

I’m seven again and I’ve spilled juice on my blue sunflower dress;
I’ve ripped my tights climbing a tree. She tells me ladies don’t
climb trees; ladies don’t make messes; grabs a wooden ruler.
Hours later I can still feel the melted marks on my skin. I hug her.
She caresses my back. We share a bowl of ice cream.

She stands. Shakes her head. Turns away.

Her melted cone in a green bin.

Locked door.

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