Andrea Dulanto

Dear Virginia

when you wrote about prunes and custard
and said we should strive for the highest art
without giving into
the sour pudding
of our lives,
did you really think that was possible?

Because you did gather stones into your pockets
and kneel down to madness
between breakfast and tea
with your chatter of voices:

        Not good enough,

        You were lucky this time,

        No more words left,

Pale in your nightgown
but you knew your own worth—
you knew
when you were writing your books—
no child can compare to this.


death to the sitting-room
where Jane Austen hides her manuscripts
whenever she hears someone walking down the hall

No more crippled works,
nothing that spews—
        women, hold your venom—(not likely)
the obsession with a work
        expressed completely—(written between breakfast and tea and madness)

        be damned—
we are crippled, Virginia,

we are crippled
and we walk on water.

Andrea Dulanto is a Latina lesbian writer currently residing in South Florida. Degrees include an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Florida International University, and a B.A. in Literature and Women’s Studies from Antioch College in Ohio. She has worked as a writing instructor, freelance writer, and editor. In 2012, she was named a runner-up in The Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest 2012 for her story "Winter Clothes." Publications include Educe (forthcoming), Gertrude Journal, Battered Suitcase, BlazeVOX, Court Green, and Sinister Wisdom. More of her writing can be found here.