Photography © Luis Lázaro Tijerina


Locked in Winter

“no one ever gets free, but the walls become more thoughtful
and remember our names”

–Tongo Eisen-Martin


why this spasmodic chill
an urge to tears
a corrosive ellipse dissolving inside me
lack of natural light with the windows
curtained for insulation, isolation,
closed off from the random,
from the motions change requires

i’m at my borders, not knowing
where, when or how to jump
my fingers ready to go their separate ways
for self-protection
scatter the message
dissolving from all sides

a wrist gives way, a rib proves hollow
one hand shaking, my stomach’s tuvan song
my wool shirt and shoulder skin negotiating
changing places, other territories may be involved
itching wants a voice, stillness can’t get back in
so many walls but so few load-bearing
every room with 3 or 4 doorways
but just 3 or 4 rooms, one house inside another
not apartments but intrinsic

follow the knots til I’m inside the rope
how many strands are me
if dna can say everything with 4 words
how can I articulate
at a molecular level of time and space
drawers too small to open
doors never still enough to try
these times places get abandoned
some accidental fires, a few extra deaths
for most it’s a cocoon we come out of too quickly
slow to recover, slightly damaged, if changed at all

like the ice, i’d rather lift than fall
like the plants pressed down by ice
i’d rather be naked and breathing


Dan Raphael’s most recent book in Maps Menus Emanaions published in June by cyberwit. More recent poems appear in Unlikely Stories, Ginosko, Impspired, Otoliths and SurVision. Most Wednesdays dan writes and records a current events poem for The KBOO Evening News.

Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.