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by Mateo Lara


    a gleaming surface, like a perfect time between

    lying down, lying to oblivious face, believing everything a boy has to say

    swallowing damage, a feat not for a future divinity, but someone not

    made of money but pretending like they are, and you, well you, come into the room

    grab a hold of a fire nobody was watching, put your name on everything touched but

    you touch me, but only own my body if I say.


    I’m supposed to be worried about my health

    not quite ready for a severe slice of my abdomen

    every word dropping out sizzling & steaming, if I

    make a fool of myself, will you stop riding the coattails

    of this oblivion, how about we crowd a place worthy of

    our own terror, stuff every shelf with curious fears.


    almost, but not quite, I say this so often, I might

    lose myself in a makeshift process of getting over

    you and under water, this warmth is not as nice

    as I remember, watching a cigarette dangle between

    your lips, I resist every urge to burden myself with

    a death of your name, my grief-gut is still swollen

    with too many other names to give you a chance.


    you enter the room, swallowing lightning no one even noticed

    and I can’t tell if you’re glimmering or it’s those floaters in my eyes

    but I’m haunted by this one-two knife-cut at my side as you lead

    me into a darkened bedroom, plop me down, seduce a truth out of me

    I cannot extinguish what I don’t believe was ever truly there.

Come to the Window

by Mateo Lara

Come to the Window

I accept you here: trespassing, no harm done.


a warm hand on a colder one, I welcome this embrace

no ghost could shame you for slipping in when you

felt needed.


It did amaze me, though, how you found me so secluded

a mind foggy and frigid with this first winter snow

your tracks not leading up to the door, but up the ‘scape

up, hungering for more flesh I probably wasn’t ready to give.


much like a colonizer trudging over 80% of the world

looking for what they thought they needed, at first

but didn’t really need, your hand turning redder by the

second, a passerby shines a light on your pale frame

and you jump right into this room, right into me.


I guess it’s a shame I had no word for touch or

another word for lust or another or another

for luck found you high and drunk, eating

something greasy and then putting fingers

all over me—we watched Looking

and then we slept & shattered.


Mateo Lara

Mateo Lara is a queer latinx originally from Bakersfield, California. He received his B.A. in English at CSU Bakersfield. He is currently working on his M.F.A. in Poetry at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA. His poems have been featured in Orpheus, EOAGH, Empty Mirror, and The New Engagement. He is an editor for RabidOak online literary journal & Zoetic Press.

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