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Image by Rikonavt


the madrigal, volume iv

Hometown Love

by sophia bautista

Spend one morning in my mind and find that you could adore yourself –
listen to your fingers whisper,
see the way I slip my tongue in your mouth like a thief to steal your time,
but left my fingerprint when I leave if it meant you’d try to catch me again.

And you hate the rain,
but I watched it sing against the balcony in this faraway city.
When the rain seeped through the deep roots of the old cypress below,
I felt your eyelashes brush against my cheek,
                   like a ghost passing through my body.
I watched the cypress roots ache with a tenderness they thought they lost.
I collected water in my palms, pretending it was your hands.
How flowers grow despite the shade, the root that knows sunlight
                                                                                                     through faith alone.

Know this:

                Anywhere I run to in the world,
                wherever beauty goes –

                               in the high wind of the winter mountains,
                               the weeping curl of a spring peony,
                               the throb of an autumn star,
                               the summer warmth that makes a fool out of my lungs –

                               you are there to greet me.

                                                                                 The garden wall of my heart, overgrown with flowers.

                                                                                 When the seasons goes dry,
                                                                                 and there is nothing left for you to give,

                                                                                 know that the flowers loved the rain -
                                                                                 the force that brought me to unfurl.

Sophia Bautista's poetry was featured in Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets as the undergraduate winner of Fresno State's Andrés Montoya Poetry Contest. Her work has also been published in UC Davis' Open Ceilings Winter 2021 issue, the Sunday Jump's Hi-fi to Wi-fi Fall 2020 edition, UCLA's Spring 2021 LCC re:model zine, and UCLA's Pacific Ties 2019-2020 editions. Her undergraduate research project, Run Me My Money - which examines how the COVID-19 pandemic reframed the conversation around unpaid internships - is to be published as a zine in Spring 2022 through saalt press.

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