I Haven’t Masturbated in Five Days
for Fear of Crying

Eloisa Amezcua

her eyes closed the way my eyes sometimes close when I reach a hand 

between my thighs              pretend they’re someone else’s fingers that slide 

the unsexiest pair of panties I own to the side of a lip                              her neck 

outstretched          the curve of her trachea like the bend of a hipbone 

that peeks above the waistband of low-rise jeans     her mouth open 

—no         agape—         the same as the women on my computer screen 

when they scream in what I’m supposed to believe is wonder 

her face pale & older than mine     maybe a few years            possibly decades 

—she’s ageless—   her body still the way                     unmoving in my bed 

unable to sleep again      I picture her still     when I close my eyes     remember 

how I sat stiff as frozen meat in the driver’s seat of a borrowed truck 

the passenger side unrecognizable after she sped through the red light 

& caused what the police called a t-bone collision   & again I call my father 

Yes           he says                she died                she was dead

 

 

From Hunger Mountain Issue 23: Silence & Power, which you can purchase here.

Art by Sam Flora, curated by Dana Lyons.

Eloisa Amezcua is from Arizona. Her debut collection, FROM THE INSIDE QUIETLY, is the inaugural winner of the Shelterbelt Poetry Prize selected by Ada Limón. A MacDowell fellow, she is the author of three chapbooks and founder/editor-in-chief of The Shallow Ends: A Journal of Poetry. Her poems and translations are published in New York Times Magazine, POETRY, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and others. Eloisa lives in Columbus, OH, and is the founder of Costura Creative.