Nicole Oquendo

Nicole Oquendo is a nonbinary, Latinx writer living in Central Florida. Her essays and poetry have appeared in the chapbooks some prophetsself is wolfwringing gendered we, and Space Baby, and the hybrid memoir Telomeres. Her visual poetry collection we, animals is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in 2017. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Sundress Publications, and as the Nonfiction Editor of the Best of the Net anthology and The Florida Review.


to animals

pic 1

cold is relative, and while I say


picture 2


wolf waits

picture 3


to live forever, unless you wished to

picture 4


last begging


your hands around my neck are stiff

while i swat      splashing water around us

trembling in the tub with you above me

i remember      playing dead

begging you with eyes only

will make you let me go            i quiver still


you lean against me to drain the tub

rest your weight for exact seconds

while i feel the frame of you

the sound of water cooing from the pipes


you heave me over your shoulder

i dangle and drip water in a trail


outside now     anointing every crease

under the heat beating

gnats are left to kiss my fingertips


while you work a rope around your neck

and from a tree you planted while i watched

hang yourself on a limb in the yard

for me tender and alive



when the end comes i will hold you still


when the end comes i will hold you still

under looming asteroid flailing comet spinning ringing

our perimeter and readying the scorch


we burn our money down to coins take hammers

to remnant walls and loose bricks axes

the comet comes and you are still most beautiful


in your eyes prometheus roiling your agreement

our lips will meet four caterpillars shaking

all towers crumble down to meet the grass


our possessions are gone          melted down

we willed each other every thing and no thing

but the scarf that binds us like a vine


you believed me           you all ways i wished you dead

that the center of earth would split and fires take us

fire lighting candles all at once


when the end comes i will bend you like a star

and kiss you sticky the curves of you animal

until we the last island drown


death we know a black room


death we know a black room

of creature piles and whispers

to brush against the no sound

beating inside of a casket

itself inside a burial vault vibrating

or churning pressure in an urn locked closed

or quivering under open water

or an animal dead         the wide open

without the paws to dig or wind to howl


death we know i have no air to scream for you

but if time before to burn an image

seconds of eternity a choice well then

i’d think you hard before the measure

of memory was lost to chambered me


and no would be comfort        black a wall

for me to lie against the body that was you

once a rabbit once a screeching bird

once reduced to human longing

and pleas to burn me once twice over

Share This Post!