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Winter '24



I swallow the morning in sips / each take a slow pull embracing heat against bleeding lip / I tongue the afternoons spent on our patio / the wind vacuums our deep brewing smoke / my lungs exhale soft warm blankets in the shape of you / I search the ashtray for your brand / and sip   regret into the night. 



Remember when you put the tube on your briny lip / then lit a match to set us off / I begged you  to rub into the fabric / so you could permeate my dreams / the smoke trail ran down from my bellybutton to your armaments / I didn’t mind being a spoil of war / if it meant / bleeding you out / now each night I mine for shrapnel from the place you claimed yours.



The last time we smoked, you inhaled your final moons / each confession a sink of teeth onto bone / you said you were a sobriety project / the kind you don’t expect to finish / I found a fruit tree you would like / across from the apartment where they found you / next to the running tub and molded tiles and rotted clothes / your bloated purple flesh / like a plum in season / they said you tried to drown / but I know you were soaking sin off your skin to let the seed through.

José Echeverría Vega (he/him) is a poet from Phoenix, Arizona. During the day he works in local government; at night he is at work on his first manuscript. His poems focus on Latinx identity in the Southwest, queerness, and mental health. He can be found on X and Instagram @thatsokjose.

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