Amber Fort, India Alessandra Narváez-Varela

It’s as if she knew the eye
of the camera, fascinated by
the folklore and the explosion
of color, was the eye

of a girl in a place described
as breaking, raping and oldest
words that burn the jasmine
bud and flower dangling

from a dark head. It’s as if
she knew the question was dust
because the answer, “Yes, you can”
is nothing but a shelved pixel,

Sunday brunch talk and soliloquy
with a woman you remember to
remember and forget because
her face smiled in a way that cried

premonition, that brown all-seeing
eye; stories of chickpea, chapati,
henna, crimson scalps and trees
parting women in the hair and

heart. “Who are you?” no one
ever asked, though it’s as if
she knew your myopic eye
was only plastic click snap

of food: a sari: a face: a staring
boy or that beautiful woman—
as if you are a stone-
keeper whose eye hides bright

behind a window enhanced
by sepia, black, white and
quick fixes of color. A window
that you break into, on command.

BEFORE THE RAZOR button ver 2

Born and raised in Ciudad Juárez, México, and currently living in El Paso, Texas, Alessandra Narváez-Varela is a creative writing instructor and graduate student in the Bilingual MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Texas at El Paso, as well as a science high school tutor in Anthony, Texas. Her work is forthcoming in Acentos Review, Duende, and Huizache.