Mila Cuda
Mila Cuda is the current youth poet laureate of the West Coast. Her first book, Dishwater Blonde, was released this past June. Mila's work has been featured on Button Poetry, Rookie, and PBS. She is a spider lover and glitter enthusiast who loves her dogs despite her allergies.

From Van Gogh’s Severed Ear

The blade wasn’t meant for me,
Not at first,
but the other man in the room.
another artist like my own.
Their conversations full of tropical landscapes and lemonade paint.
I could never see the art.
But it sounded so beautiful.
Until their voices raised,
like two glasses of wine held high for a toast.
They clashed, cracked, and stained everything.
Van Gogh,
With the razor ready,
With each thought tiptoeing a tightrope between mood swings and memory loss.
What else was he to do?
But slice me like an apple.
Feed me to the lonesome woman of the brothel.
Maybe he wanted to cut the voices out.
I don’t blame him.
The mind of a tortured artist is one we worship for its struggle,
and judge for its suffering.
I hear he went to the hospital after that.
I hear he finally got the voices to stop.
But I didn't get the chance to hear the gunshot.

 2018 Mila Cuda
Mila Cuda was a Featured Poet at the August 2018 Second Sunday Poetry Series