Poetry Spotlight #14: Analicia Sotelo

Poetry Spotlight #14: Analicia Sotelo

One of the most enriching, forward-thinking, fastest-growing online creative communities flourishing right now is the Poetry community, especially in those scenes that center on marginalized voices — Women, POC, Neurodivergent, and LGBTQ. Poetry Spotlight is a feature aiming to showcase the work of some of the most talented creators we’ve discovered making waves on the Internet literary circles, inside or outside the mainstream. Installment #14 is dedicated to the work of American poet Analicia Sotelo


Analicia is the author of Virgin, the inaugural winner of the Jake Adam York Prize, selected by Ross Gay for Milkweed Editions, 2018. She is also the author of the chapbook, Nonstop Godhead, selected by Rigoberto González for a 2016 Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Fellowship. Her poem “I’m Trying to Write a Poem About a Virgin and It’s Awful” was selected for Best New Poets 2015 by Tracy K. Smith. Poems have also appeared in the New YorkerBoston ReviewFIELDKenyon ReviewNew England Review, and The Antioch Review. She is the recipient of the 2016 DISQUIET International Literary Prize, a Canto Mundo fellowship, and scholarships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and the Image Text Ithaca Symposium. She holds a BA in English Literature from Trinity University and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Houston. Analicia is the Director of Communications and Development at Writers in the Schools.



Fast Track


The babies are beautifully abstract.

In the dream, I am given three.

I kiss their sweet, ruddy cheeks.

I make midnight runs for formula.

Of course I have no husband!

Back home, they’re fine.

They’re playing on my twin bed.

That’s what happens when bad luck

hands you someone else’s babies.

They think your bed is their playground,

a field that drops into space,

and they are the astronauts and you

are the gravity, pulling them

back from the edge

by their diapers just in time.

In their soft helmets, they laugh.

They say, Again! Again!

A blank, thick-cut

poster lands in my lap. What’s this?

Meet the milky amnesia of parenthood.

My brain’s gotten fuzzy.

I can’t remember

and then I do remember:

babies—but it’s too late. What’s this?

Just drop it. I’m there

at the edge just in time

to see its neck snap, head

crushed against body. I cup it

with my hand. It’s a featherless pigeon.

I lay it on a heap of mounting trash

in the back of some building.

I’m a mess, and it isn’t even funny

how in dreams, there can be more

than two truths. Like how, just now,

there are three babies back in my arms.

What’s this? This mourning is mine forever.




The Single Girl’s Rest Cure


The fiancés were like physicians
cutting right down to the diamonds
They said love is like milk
spilling everywhere
They said love is like steak
it’s best when rare
They said help yourself now
before your stock runs out


I said: I’m twenty-five on purpose
I said: I’m hungry, but not that hungry
I said: There’s the grave, there it is


holding a bouquet of weeds, proposing a life together
They said relax

They said       relax
sleeping helps & later, gardens & newborns


I said: I’m getting out of here          I said: You’re all divorcing

They said what about strawberries & cream
They said what about codependency        it isn’t that bad
They said don’t read into it                 just be careful what you read

I said: I am careful    that’s what I’m here for



[From Virgin by Analicia Sotelo (Minneapolis, Milkweed Editions, 2018). Copyright (c) 2018 Analicia Sotelo. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions. milkweed.org]


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