Casandra Lopez


Outline us in yellow tape, label us: Investigation.

Witness 1. Witness 2. Photograph the blood, chair, blue door, photograph

the fear. After the police left, father washed

your blood from concrete, the porch you once painted baby

blue, peeled to gray, to ochre red streams. Father hosed the porch, irrigated –

blood until it swam into the dampened

dirt, into the bushes and bird of paradise. The cream orchid and spiny aloe vera

drowned from all those days of rain, that drummed and

drummed into the roof of our mouths –

we felt so liquid. We longed for dryness, the certainty.

But bullet stained us somber. Catalogue our cries, mark us blind –

we can only see grey, your gasping mouth.

Mark us as prey, mark us tainted with loss – we are so lost in the veil

of rain. We hid the bullet hole in the door, candles lit –

St. Jude and the Just Judge, inches

from where bullet ripped into you quick, downing you

to the cracked cement, prayers in the mist. Even now we are still

not dry, our insides remain

dank with ghost. Blood feeds soil, evaporates. Techs come looking for shell

casings. The porch is a beach, metal detectors

in hand they wait for pings, wait

for some kind of sign. Between us, and them – an ocean. We do not speak

to each other, we know something is missing. Your body, your

belly that was once a warm wave, where your daughter drifted to sleep.


Casandra Lopez was raised in Southern California and is finishing up her MFA from the University of New Mexico. She is a recipient of scholarships from the Southern California Tribal Education Institute, Squaw Valley Writers Conference and is a VONA alum. Her fiction has appeared in The Tower Journal and High Desert Journal. She has poems forthcoming in Caesura and Sakura Review

The Porch:  Investigation