This Little Loft
By: Paprika Poe
If only I can indulge in this simple little loft
where the jewels of the sky can watch me
through the three windows.
The bum-ba-bada of the bass from the neighbors –
their chatter like brewing flies suckling away
my remnant nostalgia.
I’m a pupa under this blanket,
nestling as the alarm clock screams
its banshee cry –
the previous night’s pot smoke fogging my eyes,
they are glued shut
by the salt of raining tears.
If only I can indulge in this 5’x10’ loft
where I watched the ramose vocal chords snap
at the whipping tongue of a belt, leaving threats.
How I’d come back after a night out
fantasizing which car was prime to crush me.
This little loft of horrors.
What is there to indulge?
The compact space
where I spent my eternal notions
drumming up insomniac ideas with
a caffeinated heart.
By: Paprika Poe
I: The Shapeshifter
A mirror that once revealed me truth with the texture of my skin and the flutter of my eyelashes before the dawn of a new date,
a new event or the coming of a plasticine façade I made especially for the night.
A thousand faces, identities and stories like a one-man actor in a grand play has left none for myself –
the me is left scathed and shattered.
Who am I now?
I can’t remember what features I shared with my mother, or if my laugh was one born under the guise of my father’s wheezing guffaws;
I can’t tell if my skin had youth or wrinkles along its eyes.
Mirror, mirror, please no deceptions or lies –
what am I? I’ve gone so long with so many deceptions.
Did I kill someone, smushed my face and crinkled my nose to become Gertrude –
an innocent vessel that feeds birds and dies of a heart attack 2 weeks later?
Did I fake the attack, tear my hair out, wore sunglasses and became the neighborhood Cuban firefighter bent on saving only a single child from a startled firework show?
Mirror, tell me no lies
tell me who I am and who I will be.
I can’t tell if my body was round or stooped,
if my spine was aligned or hunched.
All these faces and identities,
yet I couldn’t fit anywhere with a welcoming eye;
go on and try the next guise.
II: The Mirror
And here you yell with questions of who you are –
all I know is that your breath still fogs my panes.
It means you’re alive regardless if you’re a man on the run or someone’s dutiful wife.
Your breathing hasn’t changed nor has your life given way –
I am the mirror,
I cannot deceive.
I show eternity in my panes
you’re overwhelmed by the infinity of your selves.
I only show what’s real at the moment.
die as someone.
Wander this realm as many faces as needed,
find the one that you can live rather than living you.