Carla Sofia Ferreira

My Father Teaches Me How to Open Pine Cones


Place the pine cone close

enough to the fire                        not so close

that it burns                    there     like that—assim


When you hear it crack then

you know          it’s time to move

them out           take the pinça    not


all the way         not yet                       Okay, now

Agora, you peel back each one

to get to the pignole,   you remember?


Espera               I want you to remember          this

that what you put          to flame           it won’t

always burn      sometimes       like now  see: there are seeds.


Carla Sofia Ferreira is the daughter of Portuguese immigrants and a poet from Newark, NJ. At Harvard College, she was selected to write a creative thesis in poetry and currently, she teaches English language development to first-generation immigrant students in the Bay Area. Recent and forthcoming poems can be found at amberflora, Poached Hare, Likely Red Press, Bone & Ink Press, and Awkward Mermaid. Find her on Twitter @csferreira08.