Her vertebrae began to grow on the outside of her body. They grew as notches of pearls in the dusk, as she drank bitter chocolate from the clay cup that her lover had made her. When he returned home, he told her he was disgusted with her and told her he didn’t love her anymore. She drummed copal to burn the hurt away and bathed in salt and tequila drops, the pearls clanking against the porcelain tub, her hair catching the drain, inebriated, blue glowing and crystal flaked. She learned to sleep on her stomach, window floating over her head, the timbre of her dogs breathing, and gold and coal-colored patches of fur on the floor. She learned to sew dresses with holes cut out for the pearls, and when she walked to the street, the snow fell and made hot jolt currents through and through and through the linen and hiccups and stripes.
Monique Quintana is a Xicana writer and the author of the novella, Cenote City (Clash Books, 2019). She is an Associate Editor at Luna Luna Magazine, Fiction Editor at Five 2 One Magazine, and a pop culture contributor at Clash Books. She has received fellowships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, the Sundress Academy of the Arts, and has been nominated for Best of the Net. Her work has appeared in Queen Mob’s Tea House, Winter Tangerine, Grimoire, Dream Pop, Bordersenses, and the Acentos Review, among other publications. You can find her at moniquequintana.com