I emerge from ashes like beast
because it’s September something
& I haven’t smiled since January
since backstabbing amigas tried
to take me down since Notre Dame
turned its’ back on Latino Chicano
Immigrant students dreamers believers
since white editor’s can’t seem to fit
my work in their work until nexttime
until my next batch of poems
sorry abuelita y Virgencita de Guadalupe
but my puppy days are over
& I emerge from ashes like beast
like wolf like lion like god like Irma
non-apologetic smashing fears
eating people’s faces off—
my body cracks in tenthousand places
& this queer brown boi runs
soars & roars into the light.
LUIS LOPEZ-MALDONADO is a Xicanx poeta, playwright, dancer, choreographer, and educator, born and raised in Southern California. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Riverside in Creative Writing and Dance. His poetry has been seen in The American Poetry Review, Foglifter, The Packinghouse Review, Public Pool, and Spillway, among many others. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a poetry editorial assistant for the Notre Dame Review, founder of the men's writing workshop in the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center and the Recipient of the Sparks Summer Fellowship 2016. He is currently a co-founder and editor at The Brillantina Project. www.luislopez-maldonado.com
It continues to snow dust.
The sun comes out of the closet.
Jays enter under the door
jumping over a line of air.
Maybe it was just the light,
cracked somewhere, leaked out,
lucky—I thought you shifted away
in voice, my mouth to hear,
My senses are a cushion, and yet this horror appears to taste my morrow. My alarms are useless because they are on fire with the rest of my home.
Be honest now—
just for a minute; I cried.
I had him locked out—
a perfectly good wish.
Privately, for over a year now you drove off and left me.
The place cooled down beaming and bright—
put my name on a silencer (it’s not the end of the world).
In the mirror, the wooden bust of Christ Nicodemus carved
and Joseph commended to the sea, stares out for reflection.
Only a true spell
of fittingly glamorous phenomena
repaired sunstruck imagination—
Too big for your body, the whale of a bed will go on sale; also the dresser, its
three-linked mirrors tall as sails.
The Nazis are back in town.
No, I know. They never, ever left.