Gina Williams

New kid at school
says     he drifted to America

in a torn origami boat with
rice paper sails.

When he takes off his red rain
boots, waves pour out

and     tiny orange
fish flop around on the classroom floor.

The teacher can’t pronounce his name and shouts,
“That’s OK, we’ll call you Mike!”

Tessa says her daddy says Mike is a
boat people.

The next week,
he is                gone—

but the fish from Mike’s boots stay behind, swim
circles in the murky ocean on teacher’s desk.

A Cabrera's poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in The New Guard, Brain,Child Magazine, Colere, Acentos Review, The Berkeley Fiction Review, Best Travelers' Tales 2021 Anthology, Mer, Deronda, and other journals. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Award and adapted for stage by the Bay Area Word for Word Theater Company. She writes, teaches, dances and ride bikes in San Francisco, but not always in that order.

Gina Williams is a freelance journalist, gardener, former wildland firefighter, and visual artist. The author of An Unwavering Horizon, a full-length collection of poetry published in 2020 (Finishing Line Press), her writing and visual art have been featured most recently by The Inflectionist Review, Moss, River Teeth, FRAMES Magazine, J. Mane Gallery, Electric Lit, Carve, and The Sun, among others. Gina lives and creates near Portland, Oregon with her best friend and fellow poet, husband Brad Garber. Learn more about Gina and her work at: