Casandra Lopez - 2012 Orange Monkey Poem Contest Finalist

Eclipse: Albuquerque 2012

Brother is my eclipse. The perfect sun
                                                and moon alignment, one body covering
another. I wish my body more fierce, a shield
                                                to cover Brother on bullet night. My one great

regret, is an insect–colonizing me from inside
                                                out, eating at my brain and heart. Investigate this:

How do I walk around alive when there is all
                                                of this consuming me. I name bullet

moon or is death the moon? What is it that leaves
                                                only a ring of fire behind? Eclipse

glasses perch on my nose. Halo of orange. Halo of red. I try to see into the sky,
                                                where Brother is said to be, even as the body
I knew as his was made into particles–dust.

                                                There was no moon on bullet
night, but maybe that is only memory.
                                                I only remember the rain, the darkness,
my fear. The next day I saw no sun, I ate
                                                the clouds, the dampness soaked into my boots.
The moon had nothing to cover, but we were

Bullet or maybe moon left me with a ring of fire, my badge
                                                of grief, follows me everywhere I go. Sometimes the blaze

is fury. Sometimes it is sorrow. I look to the sky and think I see my heart
                                                burning, I feel scorched–my guts and bones too combustible for this skin.

Casandra Lopez was raised in Southern California and has an MFA from the University of New Mexico. She has been selected as the 2013 Indigenous Writer in Residence at the School of Advanced Research and is the recipient of scholarships from the Southern California Tribal Education Institute, Squaw Valley Writers Conference and is a VONA alum. Her work has appeared in journals such as High Desert Journal, Acentos Review, Caesura, Sakura Review and Weber–Contemporary West.