Tori Cárdenas

I became this

to find a way through the thistles to your window
after sleeping beneath the creeping ivy and moss.
I only felt hunger when I stood on my hind legs

and I got this vague idea that I was never human at all,
but a fox who became one and forgot to change back.
I walked between my ears, through weary wooded sighs

passed through the clearing where the bears dance,
to unlock the earth above that buried box, filled
with letters I scribbled to you after we kissed.

There was suddenly blood on the wind and it whispered
a rhyme about setting fire to the restless ocean.
I was constantly scratching at the moths I swallowed

to distract me from the fire in my chest.
I transformed into a second moon to pull on your blood,
I transformed into your favorite flower and planted myself

outside your door with every morning’s sunrise
for one whole year today. My hair greyed with stress
and still I shifted into mist, into lions, into gold.

You’ve absconded from our knowing
and soon this poem will transform also,
back into the trash I shaped it from.

Tori Cárdenas is a gay, brown, tattooed poet from Northern New Mexico. In 2014, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Mexico. Currently, Cárdenas lives and works in Albuquerque.