Kirk Lua


Two Poems

A Tortoise without a Shell


She blocks the sun with her hand so it might not blind their love again

When the milk runs dry it is time to die

She can’t understand him even when he speaks clear

It is easier to fuck with passion for 1 day than for 80 years



Kirk Alvaro Lua is from Madera, the Heart of California. He is currently living in Arcata attending Humboldt State University where he has earned a BA in Writing and is studying for a Spanish minor. He is of Mexican descent and was raised immersed in the culture. The first piece of literature that got him interested in writing was The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. He would like to thank Barbara Brinson Curiel for guidance and friendship. His first teachers of poetry were his parents. His mother taught him how to write and his father taught him how to say fuck it.

Tea pot, her whale song, whistles come home

She looks through her window, over the sad sink, so calm

Lack of outside sound

What is important over what is better


Vertical stacks towering, overwhelming

Bukowski, Jeffers, Fante, Carver, McCullers

Acting badly as if they were my family

They resemble furniture, not elephants


Peace over love

Is this the work of God or the Devil

How loyal is a hungry dog

When has the night ever been silent


She can hear his heart

She can hear the animals cry across the blue grass, yellow sky,

And orange sea, red sweat, vengeful tears

Everything bleeds together, she and him, night is painting


The sun rise is burning across the ridge of her nose, regret runs down, bitter honey

The spoon is too loud

Compared to what the sunrise brings

Time to say grace


A head rises before the rest, witnesses heads down, hands folded,

Stomachs empty, lips mumbling, eyes resting, God missing,

Children laughing, adults frowning, and the Devil waiting

You have no blame


My mother helps her out of the car, then to the coffin

His chin stubbled, missed when shaved

Her tears burst onto his wrinkles; they are rivers that gutter their life

Blooming his grave


What is a tortoise without a shell?

My grandfather is dead.



In A Name


I am what my Mexican mother and Mexican father made from urge and Catholicism.

I am the new born who cut off my mother’s enabling umbilical cord.

I am a boy who understood why my father yelled passively.

I am the younger brother of my sister who forgot about the yelling but embraced the passively.

I am influenced by day dreamers.

I am the lover who came too early.

I am the ex-lover who understood too late.

I am the one they had.

I am the one she now loves.

I am the one who writes so I don’t have to speak, so you don’t have to strain to listen.

I am the one who writes so I can talk to you.

I am the one who reads so I can listen to you.

I am the one who writes to keep myself from weeping frantically in song.

I am the one who writes because I only know one song on guitar.

I am the one who writes because I’d rather laugh aloud.

I am the clown who didn’t know he was to be laughed at.

I am the one walking deep in a frown, deep in a thought, unaware,

                                                                                 with my pants zipper down.


© The Acentos Review 2015