solar tree art by Brianna Castagnozzi

by Gabriela Avelino

Memory, a crimson string pulled taut through our hearts
Connecting daughter to mother to matriarch
Somewhere in the carved recesses of our minds
We know the scrape of flint against bone
The tear of teeth through elk-hide
The cold caress of a claw
We remember the first flame ever sparked by human hands,
A pale corona against the encroaching night.
But memory is a string that unspools two ways
And somewhere beyond these serrated skylines
Where our present is a phantom watermark of the past,
We remember the daughters of earth and evergreen
Weaving shields of sweetgrass against the night
We remember the ones who carry the flame
Even when its heat burns the skin off our bones
Even when the dark seeks to swallow us whole.

Gabriela Avelino (she/her) is a writer with a passion for night skies and rainy days. Her work has been previously published in Flash Fiction Magazine. When she isn’t writing, she can be found sketching, dreaming, and walking through the woods. Find her online at