Sestina for Black Cindy

by Sophia Liu

From Orange is the New Black

Laugh with your mouth agape,
comb your hair into
Minnie Mouse ears. Cindy, girl,
keep dancing because time
doesn’t move on its own. This
place is a monster, a

chokehold—let it not punish you like a
father. Within, you find agape:
women loving despite this
unforgiving world. Women making misery into
a home-cooked meal, splitting time
with strangers. No girl

dreams of this, yet girl-
hood was much the same: a
gathering of bodies puzzling out time,
watching the future crawl forward with agape.
You let Judaism into
your heart jokingly. This

body saviorless within these
secular walls. A girl
with your eyes calls you into
confession, names you sister: a
fabrication of your own making. Agape,
you let time

do its work. Time
and its mercy. This
type of love only ends agape.
Neither heaven nor hell takes girls
like you: born against a
hellscape and thrown into

a labyrinth. Love into
dissolution; rein in time
to ask for forgiveness. A
miracle: you made this
your home with other love-torn girls,
self-enamored in these walls of agape,

kept your dignity despite being agape.
How else would you define love to a girl,
what else is love other than this?