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Three Poems by Nick Vasquez

polished blood lamp

beat light in my vein pathway,
to abused time, that leaves heavy tracks with lame feet
god gave us arms for each other to die in
god gave us hair for each other to die in
god gave us eyes for each other to die in


those hovering bottom ribs
go first
when the heart breaks out of the ribcage


a naked telephone

exploding words,


this oyster

enfant terrible
enfant terrible
thrown back in the water

spotting shallow-water whales
is like sharing a sneeze with someone

hourglass sand-grains
with claustrophobia
, sure is harrowing

easy assembly


I know
a shepherd is leading his flock
under guiding glow
of a bleating herd of stars

you remind
me of me

i love me too
so i love you love you so
so much
like candlelight fucking


like a parking garage for blood cells loves to collect its toll.

IMG_9645 (2).JPG

Annika Again

We make them think of death
hands comfort mouths
again, reflections warp over set stones, wrap around dangling diamonds,
jets run through mesh.
show them how we glide in our bodies—show them our mess
our jet our glade our mesh
you opened your stomach for me
and I headfirst
backwards wandered into your ribcage
steering my eyes through you, a mutoscope breathing, I saw a uvula on your screen
a tongue horse riding in the night
filmic rouge tissue…
Brakhage fire
gaze of visions of
safety belt
4 red doors caught between a blue evil eye a cow’s skull
a white and sticky ceiling fan spinning
askew angel eyelids sleep in their eyes

oh its snowing in here
chattering teeth
small snub-nosed monkeys in the frosted trees
nimbly racing on little feet
balls of moss in their hands
up your periscope
a small dog is scratching at its reflection in the refrigerator door
for a moment it seems unalone accompanied

a bell rattles around a cow’s neck as it turns in its sleep
lulling it to musical dream a cow knows not cloud from music and this cow dreams many
clouds all so musical as anything can be
i see i’m being me
I see you’re still here
at last I notice
your body seems to be bracing for impact
i blow a little air on your heart
blow a little air
delicate as a small wet bubble
popping at your ear
you’ve relaxed

I don’t see scared anymore
i make for the exit.

I held my head between my hands
my thumbs over my eyebrows
you did the same
and we exchanged
you wore my lid
I, your top
begat beauty and beauty and beauty non-ambiguous
between you and me
we had a had
to have happened


do you to see me?

I see myself
first still
in the curved gloss of your eye
then, like the air that hugs the sailing arrow,
I waver
billow to beams running down your cheek.
my form
slicks down your face.
now and then
in this mirror I feel beautiful
sightly as water
sightly, water is
I think, then say
I want you to make me a waterfall
I mean it so literally
everywhere, and elsewhere from tears, I will cascade and foam for you
you turn your head this way and that
i’ll do the same
twisting and fixing
craning careening
waiting for the smell and sound of crashing water to drown out
this gray night

i feel homesick for the edge of my bed
indetermined and obsolete
I ask
do you want to see me?


Nick Vazquez was born in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, raised in nearby, rural Hodgenville, and now lives in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, where he studies creative writing at Columbia College Chicago. His go-to karaoke songs include “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, and “Kissin U” by Miranda Cosgrove. Nick is forever indebted to Richard Brautigan, Essex Hemphill, Anne Sexton, and David Berman among many more cherished writers who have shaped and continue to inspire his poetic sensibilities. The poems included here mark the first publication of his poetry.

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