September 2018 Guest Author – Madelyn Parker

September 2018 Guest Author – Madelyn Parker

Photo Credit: Madelyn Parker


About the Author


Madelyn Parker was born and raised in Oklahoma. Her works have been published in Red Earth Review as well as Petrichor. She will complete her BA in English at Oklahoma City University in May of 2019.

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In the wintertime

I used to pretend my breath

was cigarette smoke,

no cough after lengthly sips

through two saluted



I am still that child.

Wet, dark, silvery streets of Madrid

are the places to strike light.


A man’s cloud of mouth a subtle shout.


The biggest, boldest vapor

—chemical encapsulation,

miraculous and hazy—

smoke-screens the sun out.


The pipe—the more honest one,


and my breath

lit by the match unseen.




A young man


he hands out ads

confections at the mouth of the metro.


He’s offering english lessons.


I could tell him I don’t need

to learn english

Instead I say

No quiero.


I don’t want him to know

where I’m from.


I don’t want to spend 70

euros a day for english lessons

any more than this


wants me to have a

buenos tardes.


His lips would be better suited to

sucking out the insides of his daily



His lips,

mine, and

the rest of Spain’s


all breathing each other’s

tobacco smoke,

—glimmering ink—the

tar of the street.



Disclaimer: “Second Hand” was originally published in The Red Earth Review, July 2018. Copyright © 2018 by Madelyn Parker.

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