Saturday Feb 22

GenevieveDeGuzman Genevieve DeGuzman’s work appears or is forthcoming in Cider Press Review, FIVE:2:ONE, FOLIO, LONTAR, Reed Magazine, Strange Horizons, Switchback, and elsewhere. She is a finalist for the 2018 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Prize, a finalist for the 2017 Lauren K. Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize, and a winner of the 2017 Oregon Poetry Association’s New Poets Contest. She was born in the Philippines, grew up in Southern California, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Xylophone                                                                      

He was crossing the meadow when he saw her
on the bluff, legs tucked under

a blue dress, the image of the painted Wyeth girl
but brighter. 

He waited for a moment like this all summer, idle 
encounter he could use to talk to her

at last. In their eighth grade class, he kept 
his distance, pocketed goodluck trinkets to keep:

How she walked barefoot on the grass, 
the way her bracelets jangled on her wrists, her knobby 

elbows when she pulled her black hair
back in a ponytail, revealing another one now: 

clavicles, hers. Elegant ballerina 
bones she wore so well that he muttered the word 

“Xylophone.” Just a few stylish syllables 
light on his tongue, lighting into 

what he wished for: “Xylophone.” 
Banter of hellos through a tyranny of teeth

his words the mallets tapping off-
key on collared harmonicon bars, until she stepped 

toward him. The music in her knowing laugh enough 
to run the scales for him, to sing the encounter.