← Issue 1 


by Emily Cortez

my lola has me learn the family recipes.
we start with lumpia, a classic and favorite at parties
her hands work the vegetable mix of carrots, onions, mushrooms, and garlic
with the same practiced hands that her mother did, that her titas did
that i now do.
we fill and roll each piece with care,
it is the small things that make the difference, she tells me,
it is how you do them that shows the value of the task.
Slowly, carefully, with enough knowledge to know you can start over if you need to.



Colonial Compliments

by Emily Cortez

they will hand you ‘exotic’.
they will place ‘jungle fever’ on your lap.
do not be deceived that these are compliments;
you are not a mango
nor a disease
you are human, beautiful in your own right.

Emily Cortez is a senior English Literature student and currently minoring in Religous Studies at La Sierra University. She is a Filipino-Colombian poet who centers her poetry on living life on the hyphen.

“Lumpia” won The Roadrunner Poetry Prize. Judge Shana Youngdahl wrote: So much beauty packed in these lines. I’m especially in love with how the first one is so tight and yet gives us a whole story about a family but also about being present, doing things that matter.

The Roadrunner Review nominated “Lumpia” for a 2019 Best of the Net Award.