from The Ugly

by Raquel Ashley Dunkin-Ramirez


They say you don’t begin to form memories

before the age of four or five but I know that

to be untrue. My memories of you are few

and fragmented.


A cheap motel room and how hilarious I,

at three years old, thought the tiny bars

of soap were. Why were we in a motel room?


A platter of cold cuts.

A platter of cold cuts?


I remember your voice on the phone,

wishing me a happy birthday in broken

English. I remember the excitement I felt

when a letter from you came in the mail.


I remember when the calls and letters

stopped and I remember promising myself

that if you ever decided to waltz back into

my life, I would reject you as you had me.


Mostly I remember the call at 4 a.m.

I remember sitting in the car with my mother

while we both cried. And the crushing guilt

I felt at my previous declaration.





Raquel Ashley Dunkin-Ramirez is an artist living and working in Oakland, California. She graduated with a BFA in Photography from California College of the Arts in 2014.


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