Monday, July 17, 2017


A short story by Daniel A. Olivas

I step into the bathtub, and Mamá stands in the doorway telling me to be careful, don’t slip and crack your head.

As I ease myself into the hot water, she says: Mija, what is that?
I freeze, my butt just touching the water’s surface. What’s what? I ask.

She says: You got hair now? Down there? She covers her mouth when she says this, like she’s about to throw up.

I never told her that I got my first period last month. My older sister Celia told me to keep it secret from Mamá. I asked her why but she just shook her head, face all screwed up like she ate something bad.

Mamá walks to the sink, opens a drawer, and pulls out tweezers. She holds them up, squints like she’s trying to see if they’re okay. Then she looks at me.

Get out, she says. Get out now.

[“Pluck” first appeared in Codex Journal, and is featured in Daniel’s forthcoming collection, The King of Lighting Fixtures (University of Arizona Press, fall 2017).]

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