by Jon Pineda 

The morning after their son is born, he goes home to feed the cats.
He drives through Ghent, with its thick Victorians, and crosses the tracks

To the edge of Riverview where the same-styled homes stand,
Though the paint peeling from each shutter makes them seem ruined

Somehow. At the stoplight, he watches a transvestite slowly cross the street.
Her body hunched, protective, she is nursing a cup of coffee and the steam

That rises now, the soul of it, its warmth vanishes in front of her face.
He thinks of their son, newborn, sealing his lips to his mother’s breast,

And it is this thought that he carries across the Lafayette Bridge, the cold
Water stirring underneath. At home, the cats lick their bowls clean.


Jon Pineda received his MFA from VCU in 2000. Since then, he has published:

Apology, a novel, winner of the 2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize

Sleep in Me, a memoir, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and Library Journal “Best Book of 2010” selection

The Translator’s Diary, poetry,  winner of the 2007 Green Rose Prize, published by New Issues Poetry & Prose

Birthmark , poetry, winner of the 2003 Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry Open Competition.

The book trailer for his debut novel, Apology, can be found here

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