Month: May 2017

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

Pockets of Youth: Turtle Soup

she sat on the school bus

in the back surrounded by stupid boys,

stupid me.

she was from Tennessee.

she spoke with an accent

something southern, something sexy

but still sort of strange.

so we teased her with,

“turtle soup, turtle soup.”

so clever, cruel,

“turtle soup,”

before and after school.

well, one day she was scratched by a cat,

her cat, maybe our cats,

she showed us, we laughed.

they were shallow cuts,

a decision was made.

but incisions were made,

up and down her wrists. 

as the bus stopped and stopped,

the boys stepped off one by one

until it was just us.

“you did this,”

she said so sweetly, sharply.

it cut through my psyche,

through time.

i wonder if she ever thinks of me

when she reaches into her

pockets of youth.

the boy who slit her wrists.

turtle soup, turtle soup

“Turtle Soup”

©Steven Cuenca