The petals called to the girl in uniform.
Her hands, throbbing like hearts
from mosquito bites,
stroked the flowers as claws reached out,
yanking her away.
A voice like packed gravel
smothered her, pressing down
all life from the schoolyard.
Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. Her works have appeared in numerous publications and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, was published in 2014 and was called a “strong and satisfying effort” by Publishers Weekly.