pink silk

is that what it looks like?

underneath the shade

swaying palms fronds in your eyelids

while the melancholy lingers in silence

i can leave the heartache behind

i can grow new limbs

and teach you where to break them

so i can’t run beside you

you can have this present

and I will take the future

you can have these memories

and I will mute yours

rolling pink silk like the sunset

you wandered into something

and it’s my fault

after all

I left a crack wide open

you barely had to pull back flesh

to find the pulsating mass

that made breaths into gasps

and lust into longing

– sheila cordova

sunflower

i am longing for the warmth

of your light

yellow and gathered and black in the center

i veer closer every morning

arching closer to your beams

i am longing for the sting

of your heat

i know the odds are slim

that you have noticed

me

in this sea of golden creams

softly grounded

while you soar above me

pulsating at the edges

at the very brim

i am cast into your seasons

like the summer

and the spring

winter born and thick

i drink you in

can you feel me

from here in the earth

where i have been?

– sheila c.

untitled 04.09.19

is there anything worse

than losing your arm

before really learning to use it

right before you pump the blood

to your fingertips

and break the space between them

squeezing time in your grip

i could hold you

I could

I could breathe you in and

let out a gasp so deep

it would rattle your bones

but what good is a gasp

in the likeness of a dying breath

what good is strength

in this weakened mess

I am the cherry blossoms

in the park we’ll never see

I am the summer

you will never know to be

– sheila c.

no,

no, I didn’t want to give you this

so I won’t

instead I’ll let the words fall on the page

as they may

with heights outstretched and unpunctuated

standing still in white space

waiting for a grasp

I’m thinking.. you’ll remember this pause

 
it’s not what you thought,

is it?

 

– sheila c.

train car

there’s a saying that goes

you’re not really from here

until a train car of people

collectively ignores your sobs

    

I am peeking out

from under a vegan fur parka.

I am confirmed.

there is no acknowledgement in sight,

not for two transfers

and a 2 minute walk.

    

I glance down at my hands

tears are a welcome moisture in the winter

    

I was once dead

an overzealous ER

(albeit heroic, sure)

brought me back from an enveloping warmth

I told myself that anything

from that day forward

was a gift

    

the gods have since tested this gift

    

some days, I wake up to a cattle prod

in my lungs

and I am out of breath

and I am terrified

And.. I don’t think I can blame you

or this city

    

– sheila c.

2010

if I’m being honest

I haven’t felt pain in nearly a decade

 

it is still January 31, 2010

and I’m sitting on Louis’s bed

the sun is blaring into his room

lighting up my fingertips

I am staring at a text message

I am trying to swallow it

trying to gulp down the words

 

I read it in your voice

but it can’t be your voice

she says that you are gone

and that she is “sorry-

so sorry, that

I couldn’t bring myself

to your room again”

 

she leaves out the death in your eyes

you deserved better than death in your eyes

they were hazel

I always wished for pretty eyes like yours

but you said I had better ones

ones like the darkest part of the ocean

I hadn’t seen it but I believed you

 

I thought of you sailing to the end of the world

to prove your point

“aha!” you would say, “mi negrita”

I thought of the life you would never know I had

 

I cried so much and so deep

that my tears became acid

and that acid burned

the nerve endings

and god, I’m almost certain

I could feel my soul tearing

and leaving this earth with you

and today, I’m almost certain

the only thing that will not die

is my grief.

– sheila c.

For Grandpa, until we meet again