Alex Harrington ’19

We are honored to present the creative work of Andrea Salas-de la O ’20 for this month’s edition of Wordplay! Andrea is a California native studying creative writing and media and cultural studies. She is a fierce Latina who intends to reinvent the fashion magazine industry and take over Anna Wintour’s position at Vogue. In the meantime, you can find her stomping around campus in a pair of heels, figuring out her angle, her aesthetic, and her first big step after Macalester.

Thank you so much to Andrea for sharing your work with us!

I. holly golightly teaches me about depression

you mean it’s like the blues?

no, she replies innocently and ever so soft
says the blues
the blues are for when you’re feeling fat
when it’s raining and you’re sad.

she tells me there in the comfort of my room
that the reds, the reds are of a different breed, horrible
never seem to go away
catch you when you’re afraid
don’t even know what you’re afraid of. . .

they’re horrible that way.

i said well maybe you’re afraid of love.

her brown eyes catch mine in the reflection of the mirror
as i watch her clip those diamond earrings on before she checks the weather.
“you mustn’t give your heart to a wild thing.”
are you saying we’re wild things, I ask her.

she gazes over at me for a second, and the truth seems to get stuck in her throat
so in turn she looks back at a boy who says he loves her, hesitantly, with a smile.
smoke from her elongated cigarette catches fire in my heart
. . . we belong to nobody. nobody belongs to us.

two very lovely, very frightened girls.
stuck in cages we built ourselves.


II. No tears Maria.
The children might hear,
Puff on a cigarette
And swig on El Patron and cheap beer.

“This isn’t what I planned on.”
“But you knew he wasn’t loyal.”
“All I wanted was a man.”
“How’s it feel to have a dog?”

Maria, Maria,
When did you ever listen to mom?
She was clear on her stance.
Don’t get married.
Men are pigs, men are snobs.

He’ll expect his dinner hot before sundown
He’ll want his clothes fully washed.
You knew this going in love,
It hurts to see you try and climb out.

Dejalo hermanita.
Look to the stars to lead the way.
Just how Papá taught us when we were kids mi amor.
Before he left for el Norte, before he abandoned us all.

If you wait a while and listen, you’ll hear the coyotes howling at the moon.
Follow them Maria,
And you’ll be in the city of angels soon.

Free from Rogelio,

Back to Mamá and me.