by Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez 

my footsteps feel heavy

in my childhood

backyard tonight as i relight 

i feel my nose touch

flame and i burn 

up it’s a subtle 

touch and i’m grateful 

for my lips pressed 

against a nurturing 

burn i feel go through 

my throat it hurts 

but it’s kind as well

sometimes i feel 

really beautiful 

when my cheeks 

are flushed and my hair 

is golden but

i envy the girls 

who never get cold 

built with frail frames 

that don’t hide 

under swarms 

of jacket and scarf

i don’t even want 

the second cig

anymore but i finish 

everything i start 

for the most part 

the last ash falls 

into a bruised plant 

and i collect it 

back into my empty

can so my parents don’t 

recognize this vice 

the burn feels good 

on my skin and i slightly 

wish there was more 

to pick up i want