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 


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.

some time ago in my studio

there were nights  
I would wake up with water
pooled in my ducts. 

I would look to my side, 
gather the strength to roll over 
and crush the company that wasn’t there. 

I was beyond what we know as lonely. 

with terminally wounded feminity, 
singed in healing fire, 
I was not quite ready to be reborn. 

I often wash myself with these memories 
and absorb them into my skin.  

I often breathe into her and thank her for letting me begin. 

– sheila c


i held my hands in a soft grip 
around a concrete pole at 24:00 

all the words escaped 
my mouth 

life is not an open chasm 

and I would love 


to say 
your name in dark 

it was you
after all and 
like time 
and sours 


i could live here
and try to catch water
in my hands

i could live here
and try 

– sheila cordova

after the park ritual in berlinĀ 

I know the sun is coming for us 
I saw it try to mellow out 
over the horizon 
when we prodded at him
in a daze 

remember herren means boy 
and dammen means girl 
that is my only advice 
while I lay under your tiny 
trying to recollect-
piece together a-
whatever this is 
when love and loss 
merge into some sort of 
coughing motion 
like expelling 
but inhaling 
im not sure 
I am sure but
if I could give you one gift 
I think it would be 
the power of always 
I don’t think you are weak 
please never think
you are weak 
I think you are pure 
like the last row of curtains 
over a stage 
or perhaps a low key 
moon phase 
washing over 
a tide, 
I’m not certain.. 

– sheila cordova 
for Naya, you know why and when. 

my hope for us*

I hope our love

is like your hands,

deftly cutting across

strings to make

breathing bellows.

I know you don’t think much

of your own virtues but

I carry them with me

in what we can’t call a soul.


I hope our love

is like your presence,

a sort of earthly calm

pierced with erratic passion

that I still can’t comprehend.

I know you don’t like the ocean

so you can be my island

and after swimming

I will find myself firmly

anchored to your shore.


Lastly, darling

I hope our love

is like your laughter

(easily my favorite thing).

I hope it resonates

in our darkest hours

and finds us sitting

quietly on a porch swing

under weeping live oaks

in everlasting spring.
– sheila cordova
* For Frankie, thanks for the hope you’ve brought to my little life. Happy Valentines Day.