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
but I’m not inclined to forget this time—
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.