As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Tori Cardenas – Poetry

I was a lover

heavy clumps of snow
falling in love down on me
wading through smoke and stout beer
before I understood anyones speech

caught between ruby lip stain
and all of my slurred apologies

her arm curled into mine
like clothes fresh from the dryer
her hand tangled in my hair
like amber syrup in fur
we detached at the theater
down the road from the bar

running back to my car
I finally felt my wet shoes
stiff with silver frost
and my hangover headache
sliding into my ears.




Her Spine was the Milky Way

each star, a point where light
sprouted when she smiled at me

clusters of stardust hovered above us
we were clothed in purple light.

If anyone else pointed out a constellation
to me, nestled in the skys vertebrae,

I would see only her body
outlined against her navy blue sheets

on that hot July night when I turned nineteen
and we could see Cancer from our window.

Smiling in that room of dark matter
I was blinded and thought,

I cannot number her stars.



Something like rain

before my grandfather passed away
my mom asked him to send her
a sign from The Beyond
(if there was one
if he went there).

Send something like rain, she said.
We need rain. Send it.
and it has been raining a lot in Taos
since then.

I know there were hard feelings
between them.
but I wonder if she watched
the local weather last week
and knew what to ask for.

Tori CardenasTori Cárdenas was born and raised in Taos, New Mexico. In May 2014, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Mexico with a dual Bachelor’s of Arts in History and English, with a concentration in Poetry. Currently, Tori lives and works in Albuquerque, and she is applying for MFA programs in Poetry. She enjoys playing guitar, drinking Haymakers, and making sarcastic comments. Her work has been published in UNM’s Fine Arts and Literary Journal, Conceptions Southwest, the Eunoia Review, and the Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art.

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