Six Poems by milagro moreno


Forgery in a Red Dress
After Safia Elhillo

i forge a dark       purple down
        the curve of my lip       a river 
my tongue crosses       a lisp 
       that bobs for breath

i forge a blue             wing above
        the fat of my eyes   
a checkpoint      i cross blind 
         i want to believe if        

i forge a blade    down my legs
      i will step into another
country     that the only distance  
      between love & loneliness

is beauty     so i wear a dress
      & high heel through slush        
beneath it     my want contra
       dicts herself              

flying featherless
        toward the light
i have never known
       a beauty without wings

Forgery in a Bathtub

—      /    / —         /     —      — —       /     —      —

—bathtub covered in em dashes—black      /         /

—     —      /        confetti—a constant state— —           /

               —           of interruption—jamming  /     —       —

/        /        —      /     — the razor—clogging the sink         —         —

      /        —           —even time—suspended    —      /              /

          —      /    /             in this graying water—my        —  /     —      —

                   /                            legs—amor—the same     —              —

/        —      /         golden brown you’d giggle     —   —      /              —

                   / —    /     —           & split—before my tongue  /         /        —      /   

fuck—for a second—I loved myself

—      /     —      —                     —as once—I did you—  /             —      /   

it’s no longer—on my legs but hair—

/        /        —      /         is everywhere—     —         —      /              —

the walls—my chest—floating                 /        /       

/   —      /          —  —like wet kindling—

  /     —                  if this is what it takes—      —      —     

—      /    /             to love myself—I never will                     /

—      /          —          —   my love, a Samson—in reverse— //   —      /         —

          /        —                /         —untouchable in its curve 

/    / —         /     —      — —       /    / —         /     —      — —       /     —      —

Trans/lation as a Fever Dream in the Voice of Oliver Cowdery
These days were never to be forgotten … to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the
inspiration of heaven …

storm-drunk clouds     sweaty with rain     no lightning knows
     such holy terror     furious ink igniting     verses sparkling sparkless
the prophet’s thunderous     cough & stutter     purls of wisdom
     my bewitched hand     grateful for this slavery     the shaft of his
pen, his urim & thummin     virile, viral     the way crowds crawled
     to his boot, healing     saints, heeling snakes
                                                                       o philosopher
o historian, journalist     whatever names christen     your ravenous doubt  
     there were no plates     in sight except insight     truth 100 proof
only a poor man     & his priceless pearl     only a poor man
     demands gold      before his god

Trans/lation where only the faithful can read the white space  

                i have never seen her      thick black hair        the wilt of her       waist twisting     
seaflower slippery       dark beneath fingers          the half-breath between breasts      
tits wrinkled as laughter                        legs patient as crab claws                     
the glowing shaft of her      neck in the sun         the wet sand sucking her           toes
the saltwater scent          her strong mouth            the impatient grip 
of her fingers         the navel’s silent nod           to go lower            
yes, right there

no, i have never           seen the woman         i believe lives caught         somewhere 
behind the veil           but let me speak to you          translate her weight         
if we wrap a prayer            around our necks         if i starve myself          
if we have enough faith          
she will appear                  can you see her?

                                                                   she’s right here

There’s not enough space in my closet for these thighs

I am in search of garments
for the shape of my grief,
a joy that doesn’t tear

over the thunk of her ass.
A scarf to smother
each roll of her neck. 

There are dreams, stair
running my spinal column
dry. Anyone who walks

the length of longing
knows heel is what you name
a lost cause. Ask

any woman named Chastity
about desire.
Every wound needs a dress,

& there is not enough
space in my closet
for these thighs.

I have fists gripping
hangers, the lowcut
nosebleeds I wore

down my breasts
searching for love
in seduction

like every ditzy
I want pink Timberlands

to crush the jaws
of the men who drug
-fucked my girlfriend.

I want their molars
on my fingers.

Let them never
be identified.
Her favorite article

of clothing is a pair
of cuffs.
I’ll let you decide

if she’s a criminal
or a freak-a-leek.
If you ever catch

her, strutting in these
streets, know
she has never loved anyone

who has survived.
Ask her what
happened to the ones

she fucked.

My Body as a Gordian Knot

my kingdom is a conundrum
of hips & thumbs. ears
slippery as a mouthful
of dark mollusks. toes
with nails sharp as dirty
coins. my kingdom
is full of beggars. especially
my hands, my cannibal
throat, my blood-pink
hammer & hardened hope.
an ox-man has tied my lord 
to the bed. tamed him
in the unbearable pinch
of his calloused hands, 
in the tight-lipped grip
of his silent mouth.
if you have not inhaled
oxen breath, felt the hot blade
of his horns pierce
into your flesh, the fierce
brawn & breastbone
pressed against your lungs
before the tryst & trample,
you have never been
a mangled beast.
you see, everything
in my kingdom enjoys
being twisted, coiled
& kinked like a snake
hidden in a vine. or a vein.
i hold myself in such a tight
embrace, i cannot let go
if i wanted to. i am a gordian’s
knot of autophilia. what better
way to hold every pit & sprain,
every phobia barbed
to my cheek, every memory
made sacred by its mystery?
what better way to know me
than to search for parts of me 
even i have yet to see?
the man who unties this knot
is the ruler of my kingdom, 
my hunger, my hope
made of splayed legs & gentle
teeth, my body, bonded
to its bondage—the ox
as it huffs its hunk,
as it drives forward
as it tears its horns
through the knot.

milagro moreno is a genderfluid trans femme scorpio raised in the southwest. Her favorite color is inside-of-a-mango yellow. She wants to see Megan, Thee Stallion and Zuli, La Duraca collaborate. In her free time, she practices Daoist Qi Gong and is training to be a b-girl. She would tell you more, but she don’t know you like that. Follow her @la.lenguita.afilada on IG.

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