No one wanted to clean the blood
in the shower, so no one did.
Four days went by. My uncle would
not go in; my father was missing;
police don’t do cleanup. At last,
my uncle’s fiancé went in with a bucket.
She was new to our country. The death
was not hers. She was nineteen
and went down on her knees. She wore
rubber gloves. A year later she married
my uncle. Her beautiful face glowed
by a candle; her dress was a shiny, deep
peach, not white. No one was closer
to my age when my mother shot herself.
Back then, I used to clutch my shoulder
with the opposite hand. One day she
stopped me, and gently lifted my arm.
Uncross, she said, Let your chest see.
Jessica Cuello is the author of Pricking (Tiger Bark Press, 2016), Hunt (The Word Works, 2017), and the chapbooks My Father’s Bargain (2015), By Fire (2013), and Curie (2011). She has been awarded The 2017 CNY Book Award (for Pricking), The Washington Prize (for Hunt), The New Letters Poetry Prize, a Saltonstall Fellowship, and The Decker Award from Hollins University for outstanding teaching.
Molly Peters is a photographer based primarily in Los Angeles. After completing her BA in Photography and Italian Studies at Bard College in 2010, she has lived and worked on Martha’s Vineyard, New York City, and Rome before settling in Los Angeles. She is currently earning her MFA in photography through the Hartford Art School with an expected graduation in August 2018. You can see her work at www.mollypetersphoto.com and follow her on Instagram @hazardpeters.