Camita in the Parking Lot

by Ariel Horton

1st Place Winner

2020 Ember Chasm Review Poetry Contest

I thought that I was special in high school.

I always asked for pictures of boys’ hands

instead of cocks. This one had sent me both.

He called me slut and baby girl. My throat

fit in his hands the way I yearned to fit


inside myself. The only time I left

his car was when Camita started weeping

outside our wet leather and fogged windshield:


A child, all alone, hollow and stiff,

an empty tissue box in a short skirt.

Her dad hit her that morning. Called her whore.


I held her and she softened in my arms.

The world collapsed. The boy watched from his car.

Later he said our embrace made him hard.

Ariel Horton is a 22-year-old poet and actor. Among others, her poems have been published in Vagabond City Lit, Not Very Quiet, Impossible ArchetypeRogue Agent, ANGLES Literary Magazine, and Clark: Poetry from Clark County, Nevada. She has won a handful of awards for her writing, including a Myong Cha Son Haiku Award, two Whittier Poetry Prizes and the Clark County Poet Laureate’s Award. Beyond the pen and the stage, Ariel likes her four sweet dogs, art art art, and all types of cake.

Read our interview with Ariel Horton by clicking here.