Us girls never back down,
like the Spanish color yellow:
boom-boom, bounce back,
catapult upward with fast-luck,
conditioned to roll with the punch.
Bend us arrows and tightly pull
so that we can fly and hit the bulls'
eye square in the mouth
to break his teeth.
One pound flesh-and-bone we mix
into shepherdess pie. 'Mid
genderized beef, the mashed
potatoes smother the deed
which we waited,
for so long,
- Katelynn Camp
Unexpected splendor yielded by inner-city excursions
manifests in sun burnt kids with bare feet, wandering
their gated yards, lying so close to the metro tracks
that their mothers cast a wary eye every time it passes.
The leathery old men walk the baked cement sidewalks
of humming Los Angeles, shuffling unconcerned amidst
rushing middle class crowds pouring out of offices
For the too-short lunch hour, heads down and feet forward.
They, the thick life-blood of the city, chugging through
its intravenous structures, keep the California conurbation
alive and kicking, however rebelliously, or eagerly, or what-have-you,
moving the city-scape along, the creaking cogs and lynch-pins
of the sprawling metropolis, faces so fantastically various
that one could never be bored, the trains and buses
offering up their carriage for impertinent observation
as long as the observer manages not to get caught.
History is the substructure of the city, culture bursts out
On the streets in so many forms, art blooming unexpected
Appearing in stations, on sidewalks, in vacant store windows
Giving the rushing throngs something to look up at, to think about.
These the invaluable treasures the city keeps
and displays to its visitors and residents, a constant show
now veiled, now glowing, fading in and out of the smog
to astonish when least expected with its majesty.
- Candace Arce-Lindsay
One day you'll come home and trample
the carpet, flinging yourself out of
your coat like splitting skin.
You'll wash my nude lipstick
off the side of one of my favorite
listening for the sound of my voice
whose gratitude invites you in
to the grandeur of my embrace,
and then enter fully into a moment
that can overwhelm, like a river
As the throat is tugged hard by the
rush of time, you calmly speak aloud,
in a current pounding past,
I won't remember much and I'll forget
the days which passed like single squares,
without a sound of carpet or coat.
- Delia Baltierra
You move through lost origins, not obvious,
Possible loop-holes of soft turquoise foam,
Or shove to fortress rocks above
Bold shadows of broken octagons-
Forget those for now; hot stones force
you down toward shore, freedom
Removed to move, to explore. Go now
To homes known only to moss-covered
Bones, or golden coins lost forever.
You drop below the gloss, tones of
Loss so frozen for moments, so open for
Movements. Silhouettes become gone so
Often, only to shoot out of coves
Once unnoticed. Above, before you drown.
Without rhetoric of topaz roars,
Orations of horizons pointing to
Other shores, onyx-mouthed oceans
Would lose voice, groaning only
Apologies of driftwood, driftwood.
- Jonny Mueller
Water in the river was always red
and before I thought it was just the dirt
but turns out the river is made of blood
and the blood is actually Jesus’ blood
who is a carpenter who made me. His
blood is in all the rivers, and if you
float your pain in one of them for long enough
it will all get washed away into a kingdom
that is under the river. You go there too.
- Megan Jackson