Editor’s note: This is a creative piece. The views in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of the 14 East editorial staff.
Listen to this week’s episode of Plática con Pueblo where Richie and Julian interview Diego on his poem.
For ten years she’ll claim to find ashes in
the roots of hair that have long since grown in,
since that day when you played with a lighter
and you lit your homegirl’s hair on fire.
Her pale cheeks and big forehead got so red.
She began to scream, “I want you dead!”
At least you acted quickly and blew the fire out —
all Judy did was get mad and begin to shout.
Knowledge earned because of your curiosity;
you didn’t mean to cause so much animosity.
You couldn’t even laugh when it happened,
her once friendly face was now so saddened.
You stared at the ashy patch as you walked her home,
apologized and claimed the mistake as your own.
You both sat on the hillside dirt that overlooked Collis.
The sky was blue, the heat was dry, every breath was crisp.
A smile finally crept across your lips.
We laughed and talked s—t.
Who knew a childhood would fade so quick?
Header illustration by Jenni Holtz, 14 East