The mind sind.
It called me spooky.
It called me by a name

no other knew.
The neighbor boy
unbuttoned me

as I lay still.
His father thundered
once or twice

in his firefighting coat.
He knew I sind.
He squinted at my knees--

down there on the floor.
I sind with my legs
and the school forbade

my bare shoulders.
I sind with my hands
in the devil’s workshop.

By forgetting, by singing.
I sind when the school
called me down for dress code

and said, Place your arms
at your sides.
My fingers
dropped below my hem.

They touched my thighs.
I sind by drifting off.
I sind while gnats floated

with their tiny bodies.
They sind solitary.
They sind innocent.


Jessica Cuello is the author of Pricking (Tiger Bark Press, 2016) and Hunt (The Word Works, 2017). She has been awarded The 2017 CNY Book Award (for Pricking), The 2016 Washington Prize (for Hunt), The New Letters Poetry Prize, a Saltonstall Fellowship, and most recently, The New Ohio Review Poetry Prize. Her newest poems are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Transom, Cave Wall, Pleiades, Crab Creek Review, and Barrow Street.