Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

This December’s first

By Gerardo Lamadrid Castillo

Monday: plows roll thru slimy streets, salting
our paved ways. No power lines nor tree limbs
have collapsed yet—there’s no weight in this

storm, just a blank, quiet, forty-eight hr. flurry
blanketing the Hudson Valley, and far beyond.
My folks fly out tonight from JFK back home

to PR—I stayed in Boston during Thanksgiving
weekend, so we didn’t even meet. I’ll fly out
in a little over two weeks, too, to leave all these

thick, thin clouds, these snowy suns far behind
spread across this widest of skies—sub it out
for those droughts and saltwater sprays I bench

most of the year to come here and relearn how
to read and write. My ear has been infected
for a week—I almost wish it would discharge

its mucus and blood onto my white pillows, my
blankets—it would be so satisfying to feel
this mess finally spill out from my skull, even

tho then I’d have to see a doctor here, which
I’ve been avoiding, to be frank—I’d rather
visit my pediatricians back home—they share

a practice: the joker like my uncle with his
booming laugh and the serious one who’s
a trustee at my alma mater. They’d know

what to do. (Can’t go to my old otorrinolaringólogo
cuz he drove drunk and killed a mother
with child a couple years ago—it was all over

the news.) Very few pedestrians out today, even
less cars, and zero bikes. I’d ride mine today if I had
it (it’s so pretty and empty out!) but it’s back in our garage

missing snow tires, I’d freeze without my coat, can’t
see with all these snowflakes in my eyes, can’t
really hear that well, either, or even breathe

without coughing a lung out, breaking
a sweat. And no classes nor work
cancelled—snow days are
the absolute best.

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