As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Casandra Lopez – Poetry

Words I Wanted To Build A Home In

Outside my window midnight birds mock
me. My laptop hums the absence of someone
who once loved me or is it, once, someone loved me.

We had an indoor fat cat kind of love–spoiled and
well-groomed. A love that turned timid at the zoom
of cars and cut of wind. I don’t know why he left,

perhaps seeking shelter from my death-talk demands, my need
to be reminded of the terrestrial while I haunt the celestial.
I convince myself I need to learn the pulse of silence as if

it were my lover’s body. I try to rest into the waiting,
but wake up hungry to disturb gravity and wreck
his mass, till he sputters dark, and I can forget his proper name.

More nights pass and now it’s not only the birds mocking
me, but the constant blinking of stars in this New Mexican eyed
sky, thrumming at my loneliness. Maybe they too know that

someone once loved me. I thought I’d learned
his language well, thinking it a soft place I could build
a home in, curling up into tangled sheets as I sunned myself

under the barely green desert of his vowels, but the weather
turned cruel, and I was left with all the unspoken,
making it impossible to rebuild anything in a hollow night.

GE DIGITAL CAMERACasandra Lopez is a Chicana, Cahuilla, Luiseño and Tongva writer raised in Southern California. She has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and has been selected for residencies with the Santa Fe Art Institute as well as the School of Advanced Research where she was the Indigenous writer in residence for 2013. Winner of the 2013 Native Writers Chapbook Award from the Sequoyah National Research Center, her work can be found in various literary journals such as Potomac Review, Hobart, Weber, CURA, McNeese Review and Unmanned Press. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and a founding editor of As/Us: A Space For Women Of The World.

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