1.For days heat made its home on the surface of my skin, but refused to travel

any deeper.  I felt the paper thin muscles reinforcing the spaces of my ribcage

fight icicles.  But, nothing would thaw the center.  I burned my breasts with the water streaming from the hopeless showerhead, shivering as I poached.

2.It’s freezing in the apartment, and my partner wears a sweater and scarf.  I’ve stripped down to my panties and bra—sweating, sitting still—trying to catch my breath.

3.The space between the mattress and the thick comforter is a pocket soaked in

the warmth of my kinetic body.  We’re talking about my thighs and stretch marks.  We’re talking about—

Heat has pooled in the muscles and joints of my hips and legs.  I’m jittering it out, freezing and serving as a furnace, simultaneously.

4.I was to read poems today for people.

But, my gut, my over-pumping heart,

Conspired against me.  My feet, sensing the coup

At hand, joined the rebel forces, and failed me as well.

5.Someone once told me

that strangers are friends

you haven’t met yet.

6.I am repeatedly asked to defend my position.


Is for

borderlands, bridging, breaking, being, busy,  babies, boys, bombs, brink, bobbins, bunkers, berries, boulders, boundaries, bounties, benders, bleakness, bleach, birth control, bouncing, branding, begging, buying, breathing, birth, best, boring, best friends,

borrowed, banter, betrayal.

Borders (physical)

Puente is the Spanish word

for bridge. Tamaulipas:

a large washed-out pink

building with flags from both

Texas and Mexico, places

to exchange money lining the way.

Pacing at the bridge’s threshold—

they carry machine guns, or

at least Reynosa is a sauna.

Borders (not)

Here I will be in—

Here I will devour

Here here here

My body—a match—my body

the slope of a mountain

carving a territory both unruly

and fully mapped



4 cups of flour

into a large bowl, sprinkle

a ½ teaspoon salt, 1/8 tea-

spoon baking powder


manteca (i am six)

goes in last (the stove clicks and roars)

(My mother says only yankees use

vegetable shortening instead of real lard.)

(linoleum can be cool or warmed)

(my mother is a gringa)

It resists the flour.

1 cup and 1 tablespoon of warm water

Mess out of the bowl.

(and i am six again) onto the sandy

counter.  (I imitate the motions:)

shoulders pressed behind elbows and wrists;

heels of hands, like bodies to the soft earth.

Let it breathe.  It is alive.

The comal is ready when sprinkled

drops of water vanish

immediately in hot ecstasy.  Watch

the white disc breathe to life

on iron, distended belly

and growing with trapped steam.


(i think of Adam. 

and bodies of dirt.

and breaking your own rib.

and, i am not allowed to use my fingers

and am handed the spatula. a turned back,

and i am running a thumb along

the hadean surface just to see

if it actually burns.)

Approximately 30 seconds on each side;

the first is longer than the second.

Bio:  Kristin Cerda

Kristin Cerda’s written work has appeared in print and online publications including Chronometry[out of nothing]Omnia Vanitas Review, and her hybrid poetic text lives at WretchedSymphony.com. She holds degrees from Naropa University and CalArts. Currently, she is finishing two manuscripts while arting and momming in Austin, Texas.

MAY 2013

Alvarado Valdivia         Arias        Cerda        Chatelain        Desimone        Ferro    gomez        Hernandez Diaz        Huizar        Ibarra        Martinez Serrano        Molina        Muñoz        Najarro        Olivarez        Ponce-Melendez        Ramirez        Reyna        Rosales        Salazar        Villagarcia        Zablah