Look Back / Mateo Lara
I can never give you what you want he says to me
Endurance full pause—noun—withstanding
What do we ever have to give? Deliverance
Sacrificial lamb to slaughter, glinting glossy eyes
Like this—we don’t really know, even as he says he does
One less hurt body to think about.
The feeling won’t be there forever, another glance
Then the torrent comes, toughen-up stirs
Shards slicing skin, truth rip flesh
Pain obscured by choice-cut words or two
Into the ether I bleed out, mind tangled-tizzy
Up in a horror fashion, split like the murderer you could become
Have become, will become, how long do we last in a space like this?
I haven’t the slightest angle to beam light and bounce off of this meaning-meant
A little more, mangled upon impact, what I want is love
If we cannot give that, what did God ever do for us?
Says the problem is drinking, and each abuse does not condone
Hurtful lines to the thread or vine, piercing straight between us
Some high fantasy clanging out, he felt like a puppy dog
Felt cheated out, felt crucial border crossed out into my heart
Pour into & what did they ever say between a man and woman
Or man and man, nothing like this, this is nothing to him
But problematic shuffling, so if we walk away
Reminisce on what you took and didn’t give—vice versa
All the stakes are stacked right here, interesting… thought pulse
Gone, the only thing that matters is the smog in a colored tomb, look back.
Mateo Lara is from Bakersfield, California. He has a chapbook, X, Marks the Spot available on Amazon. His poems have been featured in Orpheus, EOAGH, Empty Mirror, and The New Engagement. He is an editor for RabidOak online literary journal.