High School Writing Contest

you wrote a story, it won a contest.

you had a plan that worked.

you’d take a mother,

sprinkle her with cancer,

and have her die in front of

her daughter.


I asked you what the point was.

why write it? what was the inspiration?

you said you figured the saddest story

would win the contest.

you were right,

and it shouldn’t have

made me so angry.


but, she suffered for no reason.

for your stupid fucking win.

while you sat there like a coward,

your paper and your pen.

you murdered a sick mother,

probably did it with a grin.

orphaned her poor baby,

i’ll win

i’ll win

i’ll win.

i know it’s all made up,

but they live inside the lines.

an uninspired story,

your fucking Frankenstein.


so take that woman’s cancer,

walk the orphan’s shoes.

write with true perspective,

write with purpose too.


write it through your stomach,

fever sweats of ink.

have your readers live it,

regret a single blink.


write with true perspective

write with true perspective

fuck a writing contest

“High School Writing Contest”

©Steven Cuenca




masturbation seat

the suicidal similarities of days passing by.

my favorite words to vomit are,

“today went fast.”


but the year went fast,

and it scares me to think of how much

time was wasted dreaming of better days

and how to masturbate to them.


my better days are scarce.

ideally they’re spent

with dead people who don’t love me

and hurt me just right.

sociopath or asshole.

i’m open to the possibility of being both,

in which case it’s over for me.


i’ve had a fixation on ending it all.

an uninspired, faux-romantic plan to move far away

and die in a fit of passion.

far enough not to cause a fuss,

slow enough to watch the entirety of my life

flash before my eyes

and squeeze in one last full release.

“masturbation seat”

©Steven Cuenca

You’re a Sun, Babe

you’re a sun, babe.

you have fire underneath your skin,
i felt it, it burned me.
but like a masochistic fuck,
i pulled you closer.

people like me don’t last long.
love will kill me, i know that.

but there’s no better way to die,
than to be engulfed by a sun,
adding fuel to her flame,
forgotten in her beauty.

so following the footsteps
of dear icarus and every
stupid little moth who
played too long near the light,

i will hold you for as long as i can
until i am all but vaguely remembered,
like a song in the distance.

“You’re a Sun, Babe”

©Steven Cuenca




i met god

i met god and She was black,
as black as the lies on Her lips
the music. the lullaby.
the song She sings at us.

i met god and She was blacker
than the thoughts
that make my knuckles bleed,
the ones that feed the demons
behind my muscles.

i met god in the middle of
an empty parking lot.
i was sitting in my car
and She fucked me.

She tasted like the sea
like the salt-black pool
that sits in my stomach
and bleeds out my pores.
She smelled like me.

i met god and Her
movements were selfish.
She was brief, She was gone
i was left naked, cold
with no answers told,
no direction.

i met god and She fucked me black.
i met god and She fucked me.

“i met god”

©Steven Cuenca


i was fifteen when i experienced
the most peaceful,
comfort-inducing moment of my life.
it was in the middle of a thunderstorm,
in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

i was swimming.
i broke into an indoor pool
with nothing but a butter knife
and the largest smile my face could produce.
protected by glass walls,
naiveté and youth.

it was a light show outside
accompanied by violent claps
and splintered rains.
the persuasive winds
threatened to shatter my palace
and shower me with glass.

yet, i felt completely safe.
nothing wails peace more than
feeling safe in a thunderstorm,
swimming in waters warmed with–
warmed with–
lacking the refined sensitivity to be aware of nirvana,
warmed with ignorance.

ten years later, i’m still swimming.
the storm never stopped
and the glass walls have given out.
the water bites my bones,
it’s so fucking cold,
and the light show has grown selfish.

i’m swimming and i’m swimming,
surrounded by buoys and floats
painted with faces of familiars.
i can never seem to reach them.

but i’m not alone.
there are bodies floating all around me.
they’ve either drowned,
or are letting the storm dictate their movement.
i’m not sure that there’s a difference.

all i know is that it’s easier to swim,
when i pretend the thunder
is clapping for me
and that the lightning
is lighting my way.

it’s easier to swim when
i know i’m being cradled
by the waves
and that the rain is dropping
love notes all around me.

it’s easier to swim when
i know the glass walls
were in my head all along,
and that i can swim peacefully
if i want.


©Steven Cuenca