Tori Cárdenas

Curb Stories


I’m done puffing engagement rings from my smoke-filled mouth

and when the window opens, you’ll see me running

because all that being strong tore me down

I’m that split in the sidewalk you never stepped on

because you didn’t want to hurt your mother.

It didn’t look painful but concrete still cracks.


They say, “Never run back to what broke you.”

But ice still forms around the hulls of ships

and I’m still freezing around your hips

the moon still orbits and worships earth.

So tell me again why you won’t hold my hand,

my memory is bad,

I don’t like to hear it but I need to again

I need to hear you say you don’t love me

that I’m convenient, not ideal

but something keeps you listening

and you press one ear to the ground to hear me cry

when we’re separated by all those miles.


Be honest with me the way I’m honest with you

and say you never loved me the way you loved men

tell me this road ends somewhere down the line

I’ve forgotten

but I’m not inclined to forget this time—

I’m through.


Tori Cárdenas is from Taos, New Mexico. After graduating from the University of New Mexico in 2014 and working, traveling, and trying new foods, Tori settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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