Bianca Phipps


Bianca Phipps (they/them) is a queer Latinx poet, actor, and teaching artist from San Antonio, TX. Currently based in Chicago, Bianca’s work has appeared in Persephone’s Daughters, Blue River Review, Heavy Feather Review, and on Button Poetry. Source 


I have never felt so at ease as the day you called me precocious.

I have never feared big words, only those that refused to use them,

And the syllables rolled off your tongue like honey;

I was hooked.

Language became our vein of communication,

And I know that everybody uses language to communicate but ours was different,

As if in between the letters and the syllables there is a  secret message only we can decipher.


My days were filled with sound of your voice,

And your nights were littered with the loops of my handwriting.

We exchanged our favorite words, mine being ‘illuminated’ and yours being ‘cattywampus’;

And our least favorites, mine ‘moist’ and yours ‘almost.

And when I asked you why, you said it was because almost held failed potential,

That it represented our ability to be just not good enough,

That we had come to the brink of something beautiful but fell short so many times, we crafted a word for it.


But even we, with our supposed mastery of the English language, were not immune to the shortcomings of our vocabularies.

Words can only help you if you speak them.

I never told you that I loved you.

You never told me that you were dying.

5 easy words that would have shattered our world,

“I love you, I think.”

“I have a brain tumor.”


You know, still to this day, I don’t know all the details because medical jargon has never fit right in my mouth,

And even now, 5 years later, it feels like an invasion of your privacy,

But I do know, I have poured over our conversations, searching for the secret message you certainly tried to send me,

And I am sorry, but I only almost found it.

Salt water is not good for paper and my tears warped your words.


After some serious consideration, I’ve decided to change my least favorite word,

Because, while ‘moist’ is gross, ‘malignant’ is malicious.

‘Malignant’ is uncontrollable.

Means a phone call in the phrase “He didn’t wake up.”

‘Malignant’ is messy  and unfair and a thief.

‘Malignant’ means I never got to say ‘goodbye’.

‘Malignant’ is the cause of almost,

Because you were on the brink of something beautiful but you couldn’t quite reach it and you fell too far.

I am so sorry I wasn’t there to catch you.

I hope your heaven is a library and I hope it is void of ‘almost’s’.

Te amo, Daniel. Sleep well.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Death & Loss

Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:


an exclamatory passage in a speech or poem addressed to a person (typically one who is dead or absent) or thing (typically one that is personified)


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”