FIRST GIRL/FINAL GIRL

BY PAOLA FERRANTE

On Friday the 13th I could have been Sandra Dier,
lips gashed up like Marilyn’s
in six shades of red
technicolor, waiting
for the knife, close up

on a name no one
will recognize. Just like no one really knows
the identity of the bikinied teen,
saline bags slid between breasts ready to burst,
going from side to side before
going under. On Halloween I could
have been Kelly Meeker,
a pin up peeled back
a la Buffalo Bill, stripped by lip
surgery to keep me
from telling how the state of being gorgeous

doesn’t keep me
warm blooded. When Jaws attacks
he doesn’t leave much
to work with.

Of course, they say, with all the required surgeries
there are side effects: bruising, numbness,
a sense you should stay
out of the water.

When he attacked me he didn’t wear a mask,
forehead muscles
paralyzed when I got told to scream;
I want to say it
could have been
the whole thing happened
to somebody else

except that was everyone
else. In conversation
I was buried alive or

dead, they tell me these are side
effects; how they jigsaw
my bones to picture some someone;
how your skin is not
your own.

 

 

Paola Ferrante is an emerging writer who majored in creative writing at York University. Her poetry and fiction have appeared, or are forthcoming in Minola Review and Tart. Her fiction is also forthcoming in Overland, and her poetry has been shortlisted for Eyewear Publishing LTD’s Fortnight Poem Prize. This is one of her first submissions. Paola Ferrante resides in Toronto, Canada. Her twitter handle is @PaolaOFerrante.

 

Art: “Como Vejigante” by featured artists Salina Almanzar

Salina Almanzar received her Bachelor of Arts at Franklin and Marshall College with a double major in English Literature and Studio Art in 2013 and completed her Masters in Arts Administration at Drexel University in 2017. Salina’s current body of work examines identity, specifically the complexities of Latinx identity. Salina questions how an individual can reconcile history, memory, culture, and with their identity. Her work melds together elements of her personal understanding of her Latinx identity with historical iconography. Through the use of repetition and layers, Salina visually articulates the struggle to fit into one’s cultural identity. Her work also uses icons from her from her Puerto Rican and Dominican background, imagery from childhood memories, borrowed images and references to historical texts, and self-portraiture. Immigration holds a strong grip on Puerto Rican and Dominican identity and lasts for generations. Ultimately, Salina hopes to express the bittersweet nature of being both Latinx and American, where one feels simultaneously rooted yet displaced by their culture-Ni de aqui, ni de alla.