Analicia Sotelo

Expiration Date

All my acquaintances are coupled up
like hamsters with advanced degrees.

I like the children they haven’t had and
the fine bourbon jam they’re saving.

I’m a radish tonight, for everyone
has been flowering with careful hellos

and it’s made me red and pungent,
made me sick of potluck drinking

under the stars with the weeds brushing
their blonde hair against my ankles, sick

of the clear buttons of sweat on their skin
and their salty arguments about who’s best

at breathing, who’s better at playing nurse.
I am done with you, couples. We are

breaking up. I will see you on the floodwaters
in your restored pine boat, looking hard

for your Foucault, your baseball caps,
your grandmother’s velvet couch,

but I will not stop for you because of the way
you say, “Oh us? We’re fine. We’re always fine.”


Analicia Sotelo is the author of Virgin, selected by Ross Gay for the inaugural Jake Adam York Prize (Milkweed Editions, 2018). She is also the author of the chapbook Nonstop Godhead, selected by Rigoberto González (Poetry Society of America, 2016). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and FIELD. She is the 2016 DISQUIET International Literary Prize winner in poetry and is the recipient of scholarships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and the Image Text Ithaca Symposium. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Houston.