Poetry Drawer: Sisters of the Cement by Christian Garduno

Line of Demarcation

She stood naked at the hotel window
God stuck to the roof of her mouth
the dying bury the dead while Stukas dive-bomb overhead
remembering mid-morning along the banks of the Rhine
Hunnish maidens sleep-dancing while Czechoslovakia re-disappears
I told you- there’s no point in waiting for me-
& you, you had red eyes like a Japanese sunrise
Tanks stuck in the snow

It used to be that when the phone rang, it was you
and if it didn’t ring, well, I knew it wasn’t you at all

Sharing oilcakes in Sarajevo-
Elenita, aren’t you a little bit drunk?
tiny angels swirling- how many close calls can one soul have?
(I was hoping you would know)
Chewing on coffee grounds- nothing goes to waste out here
seems like the world was just going through the motions
I love you when you sing that song
it lets me pretend it really hasn’t been that long

Yelena, years ago I should have known you
You are an exception even to the exception
I’m sorry, she whispered again, one thousand summers I’ll wait
”Well, DON’T!!!,” I yelled
“I have always loved you,” she reminded me,
“Baby, you’re white like snow, I’m white like a cloud
…..I will never stop smiling on you.”

Count to One

Don’t wanna walk past your house because you might just be home
maybe I send my drone, just to check things out-
I can tell when you’re not in town and it makes this city sadder
your songs have become my songs
can’t un-ring the bell, can’t send ‘em back
you got me like an angel coming down like hell
it’s been so long since I’ve lost touch
One of these days, I’m going to take your picture down
You know your love is a morning glory at midnight

Watching the rain glow
I’m all brokenhearted since the day we started
making eyes
I’m so broke down, mixed up since the day we met up
meeting eyes
And it starts all over again tomorrow
everything that was already over yesterday
The nights get so strange when memories rearrange
I’m gonna tear down all the stars for reminding me-
So slow & suddenly

Getting time for a new star
well, as long as I’m staring off into space-
bouncing and balancing between Satellites
    Jumping off the deep ends of ships
all headed further East,
   upward and onward unto Tibet
to settle a debt with my old mind
fly out to Berlin with a new kind
A strange day started in a strange way
Now I know the next time I live a life
every-time I close my eyes
I’m gonna see the light
and everyday you know
We lovers of the soul

Past Perfect

And for the first time
makes me wish I had a soul to pray for-
must have been that wine at 5 this morning-
must have been because I knew you were leaving for the coast this evening-
Catching a train to a star, I know you are

but all men unfaithful
and all children ungrateful

I’m thinking you’ll make out alright in your new life
you’re just past…you’re just past perfect
makes me for the first time wish I had a soul to pray with-
So then I could pray for your safe return

Edge of Never

Starting at the beginning will ever do any good
lemme tell ya, honey
we were spending too much time insane but just not doing it together
cuts and bruises and chipped teeth to boot,
I fired you off a letter from the Maricopa Station
and it showed in the dream I had of you in Phoenix
I had to move down in-to the country just to try to shake you off
that morning, I woke up with a letter from you on my bed
your letters always smell like the beach
I mean, not the beach, but the sand in the wind
when it’s in your hair, on the beach-

your handwriting burned on me like a gloomy humid sun
I replied in Cheyenne on my way drifting North
I found the Continental Divide a proper description of us-
why, I had to leave the country just to try to shake you off a bit
Vancouver nights by the Pacific had me wondering & wandering again
so I slid back down the coast and with all my great timing, I missed my connection
and did not get to see you
So the arc took me back out to the desert once again
this time, your letter was waiting for me
and me, I was absolutely beaming

I slept with the photo you sent me
I lit tiny fires in my afternoon room
and I spent a mighty long time in that haze
all the lights went foggy and then one early evening
the very moment I began to miss you less- you called
“I’m sorry for being sad…I’m feeling better now…”

I been back & forth, across this galaxy
oh, that very very first night we met….
I really found my new love…
I guess that was our naïveté
but I still like to think about it sometimes
oh, and my, how from time to time
I wish I hadn’t burned all your letters, yknow
well, not all of them…I still have the first note
still sandy breeze
even to this day.

Stars Burnt

Stars burnt too close to the sun
clouds looking to raise a little dust
the snow in summer has no place to fall
just like when you’ve no words & I’m the number you call
you’re like a full moon at high noon
I spent the whole season swimming in your room…
a ghost looking for a little action, I know the feeling
I’m not begging, but I’m certainly kneeling

Steal me some roses
from a neighbour’s side-yard
I don’t mind the thorns, baby
when I’m crushing so hard

Stars so dirty, they turn straight to ice
clouds act so innocent
when their lightning strike twice
and all their sleet, just can’t wait for fall
you’ve no more colours, only my number to call
must have been some kind of eclipse
when you brushed passed my lips

So go steal me some roses
I don’t care whose yard
no, I can’t push you back
when you come on so hard

Christian Garduno lives and writes along the South Texas coast, balancing between Forensic Files and Moscow Mules. 

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