CEILING | Léna García

Palm trees and military barracks fade white from the sun, the way it was before they got here and plucked all the butterflies, like candles from cake, and rust red water poured into rivers mixing red dirt with ocean, forming clay, the kind I painted and sold on the sides of desert freeways. 1964. The kind my mother passed by, waving, in the teal green Buick, her mother driving and four in the back. My aunt Dolores broke her collarbone on a road like this one, lilting, rolling, and screaming because they were in traffic and Nan couldn’t find the breaks. Like she couldn’t stop melting plastic bowls of cheese grits at night and 9 AM oatmeal stuck in the corners of the ceiling when she slipped and the pot went flying. The kids cleaning it up, standing barefoot on the linoleum counter, my mother curving a plastic broom into the ceiling.


Léna García, 21, is a first-generation Mexican-American adoptee. She grew up in Santa Cruz, CA. She now works as a journalist in southern California. Instagram: suburbanmom666.
Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.

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