Mateo Lara


pronouns: he/him/they

Mateo Lara is a queer latinx originally from Bakersfield, California. He received his B.A. in English at CSU Bakersfield. He is currently working on his M.F.A. in Poetry at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA. His poems have been featured in Orpheus, EOAGH, Empty Mirror, and The New Engagement. He is an editor for RabidOak online literary journal & Zoetic Press.

Twitter:  @killeremm



stoke flame stoke shame out of a smoke-filled room

listen    a no-nothing is pulsing underneath division

there is you ________________________________ there is us

they                                         separated                     enough

linger and promise these empty fields will emerge with bloom.

come along      ramshackle house is filled with wasps is divided

with wings and webs.

that fracture in your ribs          another bone for sacrifice        tell me these lies

will make sense in the future  


                                                         reference boy 


                                                                                                is not boy

is jewel             is juniper berry         is crushed           into wet.

not white         not yet             not    ripe     

tension is flame between a devastation           such as Papa dying

such as field-work and triumph         such as calloused hands

rotting rotten  such as             this    grief-gut              gouging

comfort into    split     particles        of           anger & ether.

there is you__________________________________ there is us

right between fissure

a crack in the surface   made way     for a broken promise

a relapse           a tremor         in       an            aching               throat.


“While Grindr is not being challenged or in danger of being challenged by governmental regulatory bodies, I offer these two examples to show that the drive for profit of tech companies often seen as a shining example of ingenuity and profitability in the contemporary American economy can be questioned and challenged.” Bryce J. Renninger (2018)

Time of Death: a balm in your hand—show me the money.    glistening. they want our money

I               [                                           ]           YOU   petrified           rotting              hey       wait

Not Us            [                                               ]           Not We

[                                               ]           someone said bodies as in governed    bodies as in desired

These moments were real right            right?   They were.       I           am       loved.

They want us dead. Or they want us spending. Not time with each other, but with static.

Not You                                                          [                                               ]           Not I

You have one new notification            tap       tap       tap                   tap       tap       tap

Fire          devil            hi         uncut? How hung? What are you into what do you need?

                                                            12 AM                       We       [                                   ] We     


[                                               ]           please find me here      I’ve not gone long without

                        They                            [                                                           ]           Them

& bodies & bodies & bodies & bodies – I am trying to fill in gaps       gazing out of my attempt

& fuck & love & sex & body—he he lunges forward in despair his diamonds my god

& death & bodies & debt & department          my god his diamonds are everywhere.

[                                                                       ]           free      plus      xtra      indeed              find

sparkling                      men want you                          [                                                           ]

[                                                                       ]           shivering at night         running            out

how about now a sound worth repeating come through my window lay me down in your beeping

US                   [                                                           ]                       WE                  US       WE

Not me not me not me not me                        he does not love          …        …        …        you

Spoke to the times, the only time someone let crackling mean mending through flame was a statue, my glittering nails dictated me now as jewel as   …            as         …        as         …        

© The Acentos Review 2019