This poem was first published in Apparition Literary Magazine.
By the time you receive our message, you should be turning 15! If we calculated correctly. This is rocket science, after all. You’re a young woman now. Now. Such a strange concept since we’ll all have aged much more than you. We hope the dress fits. The one your parents agreed to pack before launch. The one the color of nebulae viewed through a telescope, enhancing what human eyes cannot see— magentas and reds, the increasing wavelength of light. We imagine your first dance, gown swirling around you as you hurtle between stars. La familia misses you. You haven’t had enough time to miss us, but todo está bien. It has to be bien. What other choice have we? We wish we could wish you a happy Sweet 16 in one more of your years, but that will be up to our children and their children and the backward compatibility of our technology with yours. We have faith that la sangre runs as wide as it does deep, magentas and reds flowing between stars, a vibrance waiting to reward the right lenses.
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Katherine Quevedo (she/her) was born and raised near Portland, Oregon, where she works as an analyst and lives with her husband and two sons. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her debut mini-chapbook, The Inca Weaver’s Tales, is part of the New Cosmologies series from Sword & Kettle Press. Her poems have appeared in Apparition Literary Magazine, Asimov’s, Lucky Jefferson, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, TOWER Magazine, The Sprawl Mag, Boudin by The McNeese Review, and elsewhere.