la casita

la casita

By: Charlie D’Aniello

We call it “la casita” because it was the only house we moved into when I was growing up—
all of the others were apartments of varying sizes and shapes and neighborhoods. My dad worked all day, but I only remember

the coming home in muddy boots
booming voices like quicksand
pouring into my ears.

We had a huge black table in the dining room. I always sat furthest away from
the bowl of salad and the closest to my grandma so that she could take the leafs of lettuce
and sliced tomatoes out of my plate and into her home— so that she could

save me the pain of living in shadows
huddled in corners and creeping in hollows
under covers too thin to warm, too warm to breathe.

It was the house I lived in when I had my first panic attack and got my first dog— a small shih-tzu, white with brown spots and a worm in her stomach. I lived there when I did my first communion, when I stood in the house of god and

drank his blood, ate his body and tasted
grape juice and thin crackers wasted
on a sinner who’d never repent

But the house had a flaw, a downfall: that it always flooded when it rained,
and it always rained when it shouldn’t, and it shouldn’t be flooding in the first place—
and so we moved. Now, whenever I think of lettuce and dogs, or crackers and

god, i think, is like a house and a bubble,
a drawing in the sand and a mountain of rubble—
and it died in the flooded remains of a garden we call “la casita”.

Charlie D’Aniello (they/he) is a Latinx, queer/trans, neurodivergent author & literature nerd. Their work is published or forthcoming in HOLYFLEA!, Querencia, Tealight Press, Poetically Magazine, Wrongdoing Magazine & others. They are founder of warning lines magazine & author of The One and the Other.

Anna Atkins on Unsplash

Find Charlie @beelzebadger and @warninglines on Twitter.

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