Rachel Malis will be graduating with her Master of Fine Arts in poetry from ASU this spring. She won an Academy of American Poets Prize in 2007 and was a runner up in last year's Slapering Hol chapbook contest via the Hudson Valley Writers' Center. Rachel has been published in Oberon Poetry, Modoc Forum, Willows Wept Review and Damselfly Press. While completing her masters degree, Rachel received awards and a grant to travel to Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Australia. She has poetry forthcoming in the New Mexico Poetry Review.
Karolino-Bouhas Belongs to Nastia
She's twelve now, but she'll have babies
before I do. I say this with some confidence:
she will love a man and never trust him
as I already have. She will never lie to herself.
She will always be a water nymph,
a tiny elfin girl. She will never have a checkbook.
Nastia will live in a man's house.
She will be honest. For a while,
she'll remember that summer we spent together
better than I, but she'll forget it faster, too.
Nastia will cut off her long hair
because it will get in her way.
She will always be in Karolino-Bouhas;
she will make dinner with the turnips in her garden—
but she isn't going to write to me.
Nastia will learn to stow herself away,
like the tea leaves in the tin can,
or fold like the corners of fine linen
in cupboards, not so different
from the cherry preserves,
bright behind their glass jars,
that will last her through the winter.