Two Poems

Eloisa Amezcua

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


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


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


twenty-seven shots sent straight

to the deleted photos album

because my ass looks too wide from above

my belly too pale with the lights on

my left boob droops like thick paint

on a canvas when I try to pose sideways

when I lie on my back they fall so far apart

he could eat off the level surface of my sternum

still I’m the one who’s hungry & I want

to send him something sexy

but my cellulite won’t cooperate

so I contort my body into angles

any yoga teacher would be proud of

phone in one hand the other near my mouth

or covering my pussy because mother told me

that men prefer subtlety & I’ve played

poker before—I know better than to show

my hand so I snapfilter&crop

until I’m an unrecognizable sack of

bones & tits nipples taut

a shade the most unnatural of pinks


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.

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