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Figures

Figures

I’ve lived in this apartment
for two years, and I haven’t
learned the names of the trees
in this neighborhood.

I remember them based
on what they’re next to:
The big green house, the street
with a gas station on each corner.

This feels like failure on my part.

If I had to name the
tree I saw on that December day
that reminded me of you, I’d call
it figures. Figures you’d come to me
in the vision of a tree. Figures I’d see
your profile in the form of leaves on a tree.

I walk North on Washington
because I am bored
and restless in my apartment.
I cross the I-10 pedestrian bridge
as the sun sets.

I think about where all the cars below me are off to —
Why are they worried about getting there so fast?

I look to my left and see your jawline,
your open mouth, your pink gums that show
when you laugh, your teeth that look
like they are coming out of you as you speak,
in a tree. I take a picture so I never forget it.

You email me, ask if I want to get coffee.
It’s been three years.

The shape of the tree has your outline,
but when I look closer it is as if Medusa
exploded, but instead of snakes, it’s a million
clones of your head, one head here, another one
there, one inside the mouth, two inside the chin,
three in the brows.

I tell you about the tree
when we say goodbye.
How it resembles your profile.

I don’t live in that apartment anymore,
but I store the found art in my memory:
a tree that looks like you, a white house,
the sunset, a man fixing a car in his driveway
watching me as I stare and take pictures
of a tree.


Yezmin Villarreal is a writer and co-creator of DYKE QUEEN. Instagram: @yezyesyall


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A zine for young people, by young people.

HopeIRL is a project of Hopelab, a nonprofit social innovation lab based in San Francisco that works with young people to co-create tech products that improve health and happiness. 

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