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TORI CÁRDENAS

Luna

Winter settled in and wrapped around our ankles, I shuddered, 

put water on the stove. Convinced myself spring was soon,

collected loose butterfly wings from the floor, fluttered

and de-cluttered, dusted around the flaky, grey cocoon

I lock my dreams in. Several spent soaring in first flight,

oil-slick indigo on midnight on ebony-green. But

these feathery tendrils melting up into a powdery white

are not the antennae I dreamt of. Time lapses between naps,

I snack on silk scarves, sip from buttery flowers wide 

as cups in my four furry hands. From the shaker I take my salt.

Where are the colors, where are the stripes? The stories lied,

from beneath the earth I came and I'll slouch back to sleep it all

away on a stack of forgotten pages faded in the window; 

I am Moth, full of ashes, burning my face in a bulb's glow. 

Origin

In the dark smoke in this room, both thinking aloud,

your atoms rearrange as her star column legs

lift your mind from its socket into clouds

of stardust, and this planet shrinks to dregs

beneath you as you're born through atmosphere.

Oceans become navy smears of watery acrylic

three hundred miles down, and her heels spear 

between your vertebrae, cutting the umbilical 

tie to viridian Earth. Soon, your soul surfaces

shimmering on your skin, crackling as you hover,

mimics the electric exponential expansion of the universe

when it collides with the shining skin of your lover.

This heavenward ascension from the heaving of your hips,

becomes every genesis of a new star, every total eclipse.

About

Tori Cárdenas is a gay, brown, tattooed poet from Northern New Mexico. In 2014, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Mexico. Her work has appeared in Conceptions Southwest, As/Us: A Space for Women of the World, Cloudthroat, and the Lavender Review. Currently, Cárdenas lives and works in Albuquerque.

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