by Mateo Lara
we carry the strands of our DNA on this thin glass. Hand to Hand. And you touch it. I touch it. we cross our hands together on the glass. we breathe, it steams and we write our names and we write our futures and breathe all over them. Smudge them out of existence. I touch it. I touch you. You leave, years later. You walk out of my dreams. I learn not how to believe, but how to break. I learn how to trust and disintegrate. I wait. You never return. I write your name. I cut my finger and bleed all over the glass. I try one final magic trick. I say your name. Finally. It comes out. I break behind the letters. I spell it out. I out spell each and every other. I am queer now. I wasn’t back then. I hid. I’m hiding. I hide now, not my queerness, but how to be vulnerable. A layer of hardened mud. I am brown. I am ashamed. Not of my color. Of the love I left in your gut. I am ashamed of fragility and a space that will not fill. I filled it with another. He does not love me. He loves another. Her name is stalactite and stale on my tongue. I cannot say it without a rush and a burn. I yearn. I breathe on new windows. I am young again. I am not myself. I am every other. I take. Taking is easy. I want to breathe you here. Here I breathe you. Your name. not a ghost. a reminder. I want to crack this reflection. This translucent image of the outside. Outside without you. A foggy display. A disappearance. An imprint. An identity. Irretrievable and vibrating in my throat.
Mateo Lara is queer & latinx, originally from Bakersfield, California. They received their B.A. in English at CSU Bakersfield. They are currently working on their M.F.A. in Poetry at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA. Their poems have been featured in Orpheus, EOAGH, Empty Mirror, and The New Engagement. He is an editor for RabidOak online literary journal & Zoetic Press.