Dispatches from the Front Lines by Merion Estes
Boy with Red Wine
Vino tinto, the last language between commitment
Slurring weighty in the gut like a bad case of love
The kind of commitment momma used to have for her lover
Before he left without the note you get in the movies.
Or Vino Tinto, right here, chulo
The way you drink with the girls you like
And not me, juicy heart filled with blood
& the cheap stuff we bought at Walgreen’s.
It’s not like we were ever anything but this
Vato, I know what makes you weak
You cannot trust me the further you move into
Her room, drink another drink
American girl, latina with the curls, got you goin’ giddy.
Brindo por este final
Right under your foot
My head stirs alive & awake
And you’re teaching her the words for love
Regret despair thoughts left there
On the tip of your tongue
Reused too much & too often
Pulling the plug on our journey
I drink too much & you’ve just begun.
I say America land of beauty betrayed
Gut, rip through flesh
Fuck that, start a riot pierce marble skin
Explosive device on red hand
No one listens when ideas are drowning.
Ya no soy yo mismo he says to me
But I swear leaving is extraction
sharp tongued, chained-up, rope-burned hands.
I swear this was
your year, ruminating, pooling blood
In your mouth noisy drone
Whisk away pull old feeling out.
A brush, raven feather on cheek, ripe with bitterness
Tight-lipped lover, “never-worn-out-kisses” boy
Trapping sense in mason jars, lightning bug restless
Waiting at the doorstep of closed-off heart.
Somos vidrio quebrado,
I cannot swear off my worth
Told seven times I no longer
Am threatening to a white world
This brown skin turned ash in quick forgotten
cultured, curated for the slaughtering
I’m not used to beauty break precious glass
slit my neck
drain the blood.
Mateo Lara is a latinx queer poet working towards his degree at California State University of Bakersfield. He has a chapbook out callled, ‘X, Marks the Spot,’ available on Amazon. His poems have been featured in Orpheus, Empty Mirror, and EOAGH. You can find him on twitter @killeremm.
To order your copy of X, Marks the Spot; via Amazon, click here.