Kim Lozano


She was a preacher’s kid who wore her hair in a mass of tiny braids
twisted and piled on her head like a stack of wheat.
The boys called her Corn Flake and she didn’t seem to mind.

Her room was lacy with a Holly Hobbie comforter and 1981 curtains.
Laid out on the altar of her dresser, a score of arrowheads cushioned
on a folded blue scarf, not like the dull chips my father and I found
on our hunts through plowed fields, but polished and whole.

One day, alone in her room, I picked up the largest one. Bright flint,
red, perfectly notched. I ran my finger across the dark-veined surface,
pressed its coolness to my lips, and stuck it in my pocket.

Today the arrowhead might lie in an unmarked grave of a shoebox
with photographs of friends I’ve misplaced, a ring that hasn’t fit me in years,
a yellowing bit of paper bearing the words to a song
a boy once wrote for me.

Thirty years after I took it, she came into my kitchen in a dream, grown now
but wearing a dress I remember. She stepped toward me and held out
the arrowhead in her palm, tilting it so I could see. She told me I must forgive
myself for all I could not be, even then.

Kim Lozano, a native Kansan, is a long-time supporter of the St. Louis Arts community. She is an Arts in Transit Poetry in Motion winner and her poems have previously appeared in The Iowa Review. Kim has been involved in program development for the St. Louis Writers Guild, is a board member of the St. Louis Poetry Center, and works as a contributing editor at River Styx.
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    Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí