when they say “the world is your oyster,” do they mean

i can pull it out, screaming,

from its shell

or use it to mass produce a milky white pearl

that will sell for hundreds of dollars one day?


do they mean i can exploit it,

dig it from its watery safe haven,

put it up for auction,

people’s faces pressed against the glass, saying

“this one, this one will do”?


can i collect a whole galaxy’s worth of people’s oysters

people who just left them there in the dark depths

of the ocean in space?

can i cook them all up or eat them on the half shell,

my lips stained with the tears of their inhabitants?


i think i’d like to make a pretty penny

off these oysters,

if i can

just to taste

the salt of emotion again


Oysters $20 a pound

Oysters! Get your oysters here!

II. Summer


rain across my skin that dries too quickly

(I hear thunder)

manicured lawns that die in the heat

(only cactus grow here)

and mango paletas that stick parched tongues to the roof of your mouth

(but they never tasted so sweet)

as the mourning doves coo in the evening light

(and the stars never looked brighter)

Ace Art V.2

The soft curve of her figure, the sharp edge of his jaw, do nothing to stoke the flame within; they are art, nothing more and I do not date art.


petrichor (n.); a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather

We let the rain wash our sins from our hair and bring relief to sun-scorched tongues. Blackened grass bowed at our feet. Our hair whipped around our faces. The cold stung our cheeks.

You turned to me and said, “We are the queens of everything” and I laughed because it was true. Not for me, but for you, my queen of everything. I was just the humble servant girl in our little game. The one with big hopes and dreams who looked up to you and wondered if she would ever be so beautiful or wise. You caught me staring and smiled, just for a moment.

Then with eyes like gray storm clouds barely reined in, you looked up to the sky and you challenged Thor himself to a fight like only you could. He responded with claps of thunder, so loud I screamed and covered my ears. You had a smile on your face.

The rain ended. You held out your hand. I took it, feeling the rough pads of your fingers against my skin. We watched as the wind chased the clouds away and the sun came out, warming our soaked clothes. I remember thinking this was perfect. And I remember realizing how wrong I was months later when the storm clouds came back.

I. Spring


I was always taught Spring was a soft season.

The pastels, the flowers, girls with ribbons in their hair.

But what about the plants that push through hard, frozen ground

And trees that wake up after Hell freezes over?

There is nothing soft about giving birth and raising young

Hoping they’ll see the sun the next day.

So take your pastels, Spring, wear them like war paint.

Take your flowery thorns, and remember ribbons can be used to choke.


Colima volcano explosion and lightning
Credit: Sergio Velasco

I don’t remember

the sky dying out

the red on the ground.

But I remember

your face

as the tears

streamed down

and I remember

the darkness

swallowing us whole.

Cliffs of Moher

Credit: Me

She danced across the windy bluff

her feet traced the shadows

The flowers swayed back and forth

on the edge of the sea

And all the gulls inside their nests

cried out, a warning as she fell to her end


Dark cliffs

Dark sea

Dark, the color underwater when you’re in too deep


Her hair tangled in the waves

The skin turned cold and white

She sank faster than a stone

To the rocks below

Her hands reached up and she could breathe

Given fins and now a maid of the sea


Dark cliffs

Dark sea

Dark, the color underwater when you’re in too deep

Based on the idea that maidens who drown in the sea are given a second chance at life, becoming sirens. I also based this on Regina Spektor’s “Blue Lips,” which I listened to while on the cliffs and figured it was a song a siren might sing.