Poetry Collection Vol. 4

Image by Alfons Morales via unslapsh.com

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

and contemplations

drumming up insomniac ideas with

a caffeinated heart.

Bum-bum-bum

was that

the neigh

bors or

my chest? 

Shapeshifter

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.

Live shapeshifter,

die as someone. 

Wander this realm as many faces as needed,

find the one that you can live rather than living you.