blue lit dream 

I have a blue lit dream of you.

you are cackling bent over the tatters 

of a tire 

calling me "puddin pop".

I detest it 

and you laugh so hard 

your knees buckle.

I shut my mouth tight 

and grit my teeth through a smile.

your hands are open 

on my thighs 

and I rest my head 

right on the crane of your neck.

we are stranded on the 1-10. 
 

I bore this place in the back 

of a diner.

I imagined it the way you imagine 

your lungs oxygenating blood 

as you're running,

platelets swelling up 

and such. 
 

you have taught me

i can paint a picture with ache,

pulse,

and yearning. 

– sheila c. 

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grand romances 

I don’t know about grand romances 

you know like sunset scenes in movies from 1995 

big haired shadows and slow bearing kisses 

like you knew they’d end up together, right? 
 

I don’t know about dudes who bring you flowers on bended knees 

because they may or may not have fucked your friends friend

you asked “how could you?”

he said  “right now, that’s not important”

face bursting through a red bouquet 
 

I don’t know about eternal love 

but at night when the heat 

fills my densest bone

he turns on every fan in the house

he brings water and gently pours it down my throat

he ices down my neck 

he says “honey, it’s alright.. it’s alright. 

he clutches my hands 

“is that okay? is that better?” 

and I lie. 
 

I don’t know about grand romances 

but every night 

he says he’d trade his healthy body for mine
 

-sheila c. 

girl

when I was a girl in the way 

you are a girl with ponytails 

 and ghost scratches 

I was privileged to pretend 

I was Darwin

cataloguing wings 

and beaks 

and smooth feathers 

cracking open daylight

 with the roosters 

the king of my moor 
 
 
now I am a girl in the way 

you are a girl 

when you’re impractical 

and unlikely to settle 

I  look outside my window 

to see the cardinal breast pulsing 

and I feel my gut start to turn 

i hear my grandfather whispering 

he is dead but his voice is not 

 
 

when you were a girl 

you broke two limbs 

from the avocado tree 

I planted 

your elbow healed

but the avocados 

never bloomed again. 
 

– sheila cordova

bending 

I contain a certain silence that bends with time 

I tell myself 

this is the best option 

the only option 
the world disintegrating like a crumble cake 

and my coffee on the table 

ready to soak it in 

have I given up? 

that can’t be 

there is more than gin pools

and drowning in fountains 

made of right now…

because not now 

not this second 

not this thing

 

I  feign a laugh 

and a whim 

of something 

something distant 

instant 

and within. 

 
– sheila c.

what is it about tectonics? 

I’m aware of the shift 

in continental plates 

below me 

the hard ground 

is somehow evaporating 

while growing 

it doesn’t cease 

to bore me. 

I am rock 

slowly eroding 

 cliff side 

forging 

core and crumble 

forming. 

I am contained by valley 

as a split 

a dual terrain

beginning in mist 

so moist the air 

is drip 

drop

droning 

a deft step 

or two 

towards 

rounded peaks

purging 

all the voice 

inside the valley 

resonates 

and pours into the 

alley

a bloom 

is being bore 

before me 

– s.c. 

corner store

corner store lights 

like pulsing life blood 

in the field 

one car 

and one 

good morning

that shutters curtains

yeah, yesterday is definitely over 

but you defiantly swivel 

towards your beacon 

hoping your fever goes down 

and that little bite 

under your eyelids 

that says

stay open 

stays open 

standing here 

for a moment 

that’s not the sun

a headlight maybe 

there’s not much difference 

propel your body forward 

with the notion 

of saying grace 

prolonging the exhale 

draining the fragile joy

that gives you claws 

in beige corridors 

and beige walls 

with beige persons

you manage a polite mumble 

and crack the glass 

open 

you’re open 

stay open 

let the brightness 

be your golden. 

– sheila c

a warmer spring

there is no warmth

like a spring you remember

 

i was standing agape

while you hummed a song

and smiled at your neighbors

from the courtyard

and even though you were high

and probably still drunk

my tongue knotted up

and i couldn’t tell you

 

i am swallowing my thoughts of you

shoving them into the acid

hoping the bile erases you

 

i wonder if i will ever see you again

– sheila c.