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 berlin 

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.

it’s a sin

it’s hot like a shed in the blurry sun
the steering wheel’s been hoarding
ready for your soft skin
you’re so forgetful
but I appreciate the melancholic
of the cache you’ve sown
into your chest
with a pounding fist and
pulpy pulmonary trunk

i like drops of bitters
in my whiskey lemonade
because I think it masks the
taste of alcohol
and I like the taste
but I do not like the taste
not the way I like the sauna
not the way I like being perched
on your lips
and being drowned
in your muck

– sheila c


spineless jellies 

get a bad rap, you know.

they just don’t care for war

or confrontation.

they’ve seen the vastness 

of the ocean 

and the pitch black

sequin night 

below the shifting 


i want you to know 

that i thought my softness

was sinking 

and my will 

was decomposing 

i was a daft 


mass in currents.

now i am from underneath

what you call “heaven”

and I call heaven

from underneath you.

– sheila c.