windmills over Zaandam

My friends went to a sex show in Amsterdam and I told them I’d wait outside. When they left, a group of men approached. They grabbed me and laughed, yelling comments about my body, about what they wanted to do to me and I froze like I had the first time I’d become a statistic on my college campus, the one in five women. I wasn’t the type of person who’d get herself in the situation to be sexually assaulted, I remember thinking. I’ve since learned that’s not how abusers work. Power-hungry teeth don’t differentiate like that. Sometimes I forget my own name and call myself only body, call myself only victim. But not all people use teeth to bite. Not all walks alone end in attack. The next morning, I caught a train to town by myself and a kind man made me the best waffle I’ve ever eaten.

alone on the street
there are men saying things to you
in a language that you wish was foreign,
but it’s not
and you want to dive
in canals of trash water
to make yourself feel clean
and the smoke gathers in your throat
to cut like knives—
this place doesn’t want to hear your voice—
but you are screaming poetry in a restaurant
and all your friends inhale plants on fire
and cry
and did you know there are fields of open space
where human hands haven’t groped yet
and a woman is pulling ribbon
out of her own body
until these men remember they are children
that they don’t want to be
and when you catch the train
downtown in the morning
a man makes you a waffle
covered in ripe fruits
and you eat it on the stones outside,
consuming color
like you are the only thing
that belongs inside of you.

Gabriela Gonzales is a writer from Nashville, Tennessee who writes about the strangely beautiful tragedy that is human connection. She has had work featured in Awakened Voices Literary Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Lost Balloon, Wigleaf, and other journals. She really appreciates giraffes, the oxford comma, and babies dressed like hipsters. Find her at and on Twitter at @gabrielag2597.



2021 Prose Chapbook Winner
Resistance, Sue Mell (an excerpt)
A Conversation with Sue Mell and Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar, Prose Chapbook Winner and Finalist, Maria S. Picone, Managing Editor

Cataloging Ghosts, Carlos Contreras
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How To Use Your Father’s Lawn Mower, Yasmin Nadiyah Phillip
Our Trespassing, Joel Worford
The Puddling, Mattea Heller


Il Lupo Mannaro, Stephanie Staab
When it happens, you let it happen, Lynne Schmidt
Holiday Party 2017, Kim Ellingson
Ninety Days, Remi Recchia
The Universe, as in One Last Song for the Lonely Hearts, Michelle Hulan
Saudade Accuses Brown Girl, Yvanna Vien Tica
windmills over Zaandam, Gabriela Gonzales
Fold the Shadows, Cate McGowan
Intercession, Sasha Wade


Fluidity, Patrick van Raalten
Yellow Purse, William C. Crawford
Blankness Was the Beauty, Carolyn Guinzio
Telephone, Moses Ojo
Skin Over Milk Cover Art, Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad
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