Lights by Dawn Angelicca Barcelona

Throwback to a Saturday night in Newark, brick-layered and heavy. Menacing, a remnant of Essex County. Were you ever afraid of the dark like me? I’ve never told anyone but you about the map of the U.S. painted on my Catholic school blacktop playground. I busted my lip four times playing freeze tag. I loved the days I was home from school. My mother would buy me balloons until I got better. And at night she would leave again for work and I would be scared of what was behind the closet. I would hum facedown in my bed until I slept. We cut off a piece of that mattress when we moved away. I’m scared to open the hallway closet to look at it. You told me you didn’t know what you feared the most. I hope if we are trapped in a room you’ll smile wide, think of our text messages, and remember to be honest–sober this time.

Bio: Dawn Angelicca Barcelona is a New Jersey born-and-bred poet who graduated from Rutgers University in 2014. Her English honors thesis on Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee inspired her to live and work in South Korea for two years where she worked for The Fulbright Program, teaching English to elementary school students and serving as the Editor-in-Chief of The Fulbright Korea Infusion literary magazine. Now back in the U.S., Dawn continues to write poetry and works on the talent team at MuleSoft in San Francisco.

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