Paula Mendoza

Divulged in the key of flux. In the split-tongue

hasp of a prayer. In the clutch of a lover. In the by and bi-

furcation, the forked body. Her splay. Her condor. Her

flim-flam and jesuses.

Juked three sheets and headlong, out cold after

kiss off, lights out, darkroom. Shutter. Click.

Do you want me this way? Or, this: Cut

grass, nothing since has breathed

quite green, and red dirt redder

in a hill country dusk whose

slow ochre deepens a little or a lot.

Like your drawl. We crossed a field to play

ball, dirt all over my white dress, all a-

flutter at you, pie-eyed, swinging at the moon.

Agape, adrift… lost. No, here.

And here, it is not summer or even

nearer the end of. My hoary skyed mornings

bring this lark, or whatever

feathered thing.

It is always

singing out my window


flying into my window

pane. Thud.

Paula Mendoza’s work has previously appeared in The Offending Adam, No Tell Motel, and Wicked Alice. She lives in Austin, Texas.

“I’ve only ever lived in apartments growing up. The more vivid porches of my childhood are from books, paintings and movies. When I close my eyes and imagine a porch, I see Mark Twain in a rocking chair. Sometimes there’s a cat. These days, I enjoy porch-watching. That is, I like to wander through the neighborhoods of Austin and spy on other people’s porches, studying the rusted metal chairs, or dusty trikes, or stone gnomes, or overgrown wildflowers. If I ever had a front porch, the very large and very old tree to give it shade will most certainly be magnolia, and it will have a knotted hollow in the trunk that doubles as a magic mailbox.”