This Road Trip

purple 7

this road trip better last me forever

i can never look past my big toe
after every step that i take,
but i still manage to make sure
that the now is planned out.

this road trip better last me forever

i don’t remember anything anymore,
i hallucinate now.
i won’t say it out loud,
but the shapes and the sounds
haven’t been honest,
and you are my beacon.

this road trip will never happen

moments have gained infinite importance,
so i move slowly now.
it must be the last chapter
with writings that mean to stretch
and wring out every last bit
before the page turns white–
it’s alright! it’s alright,

the trip never happened.

you never saw past your big toe
and you can’t plan nows.
you knew that.
you knew it and you laughed it off.
you laughed it off
and it never happened.

“this road trip”
©Steven Cuenca



Gold sheep Black sheep Brown

there once was a Gold sheep,
his chin held up high.
he’d walk with a purpose,
he’d walk with a stride.

i had to befriend him,
the stories he’d tell!
“hello mr. Gold sheep!”
he said, “go to hell!”

but sheep go to heaven,
and goats go to hell
and i am no goat,
so i said, “farewell.”

there once was a Black sheep,
they said, “please beware,
he moves without purpose,
he moves without care,”

but i don’t scare easy,
“hello mr. Black!”
he said, “go to hell,
and never come back!”

but sheep go to heaven,
and goats go to hell
and i am no goat,
so i said, “farewell.”

there once was a Brown sheep,
that Brown sheep was me,
and i am no coward,
you just wait and see.

i’ll go to the Gold sheep,
i’ll go to the Black,
i’ll drag them to hell,
to heaven and back!

“hello mr. Gold sheep,
hello mr. Black!
you will not avoid me,
your faces i’ll smack.
you think you’re so special,
the color of your wool.
you two can go eat shit
until you are full.”

the Gold one responded
with a practiced grace,
“hey, there is no need
to smack anybody’s face.”

the Black one agreed
with one thing to note,
“we were being polite,
a goat is a goat,”

and sheep go to heaven,
and goats go to hell.
i guess i’m a goat,
i just couldn’t tell!

so, “thank you mr. Gold sheep,
thank you mr. Black!
now, that would explain
all the manners i lack.
so, you fuck your mother,
and you fuck your dad.”

hey, being a goat
isn’t half baaahhd.

“Gold sheep Black sheep Brown”
©Steven Cuenca

especially special

A 9

i think life’s easier when you stop thinking you’re special.

especially when you are

especially when you’re so undeniably special
that the world would need to rotate one trillion times
before producing someone like you.

especially when you’re so special
that you can maintain a sense of self
after death, and heartbreak, after cruelty of man.

especially when you’re so fucking special
that god takes the time to speak to you
in moving colors and shifting sounds.

listen around, listen to it

you are so fucking special
that none of us are;
no one can put their finger on your worth,
you were special from birth–
from the moment you stepped on the earth
with dirt tucked in-between your toes
and your lungs filled with sky blue.

need to do us a favor, please:

stop thinking you’re special;
life will be easier for the rest of us.

“especially special”
©Steven Cuenca

almond halves

Playing 26

maybe i’ll live longer
for every knuckle i crack,
for every almond i crack
in half
with my teeth

maybe i’ll live longer
for every hair i rip out of my nose–

who knows?

maybe i’ll live longer
for every tackle i land,
for every time i stand
for pregnant women on the subway,
for every time i bow my head
and say amen in sync with white voices.

maybe our choices don’t mean shit.
maybe we git what we git
and there’s no life after this, after that.
maybe all the almonds i cracked
were in vain.

maybe i’m insane.

maybe it’s just a game
and we win with paper and pen
and pretty thoughts to paint;
hope they outlast us.
hope they’re so good
they won’t remember the past us,
and we become eternal letters
bounced back and forth
by aliens and feathered

maybe i’ll live longer,
but i’ll be stuck in the dirt,
and my arms and legs will be roots
of an almond tree.
and i’ll be showing my teeth
as the almonds fall
split split split them in half
so that the flat sides are smooth
against my tongue.

feeling young,
but dying to feel forever.

“almond halves”
©Steven Cuenca



there was a moment when we stared
into each other’s eyes
and i saw the future disguised
as daydream.

i don’t remember the daydream,
but i remember how your freckles aligned
with each checkpoint along the way.

i remember how the pitch darkness
of your hair enveloped the corners of my vision
to remind me i was visiting
a soon-to-be.

i don’t remember the daydream,
but my eyes needed to stay open or i’d
fuck up the visit;
so they burned
while my face felt wet from the purple.

i started laughing
like the purple do;
i started laughing
and i jumped back into the present.

i don’t remember the daydream,
but i remember how your face
was the perfect time machine.

-Steven Cuenca

rainbow-colored goggles

they gave me rainbow-colored goggles,
said, “search for happiness,”
but i just got dizzy.

they gave me gold plated shoes,
said, “go find your way,”
but them shits were itchy.

they gave me beautiful silk gloves,
said, “hold on to love.”
they didn’t fit me.

they gave me pants and socks
and underwear.
they gave me shirts and belts
and hats to wear.

it was all uncomfortable.

they even gave me this funny mask,
told me how to laugh,
“life is funny, right?”

it’s funny how there’s no holes in this thing,
it’s hard to breathe, and it’s strapped on tight.
they said, “laugh through the sweatmixed tears,
you’ll be alright.”

well, that’s not bad advice.

i’ll be laughing the next time i feel like shit,
and you know for goddamn sure i shoved my hands
in these gloves that didn’t fit!
and i’m wearing those goggles that made me sick,
and walking in these ugly ass shoes that made me itch!

i’ll wear the pants and socks
and underwear,
the shirts and belts and hats, i swear!

i’ll even wear this mask i need to cram
on my face, i don’t give a damn!

i do so like green eggs and ham!
thank you! thank you, Sam-I-Am.

“rainbow-colored goggles”
Steven Cuenca