Two Poems by Mateo Lara


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.

Bebo demasiado.




For Mark


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

Get-me-out looks.

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.

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