Norma Liliana Valdez

Hecha en México, Norma Liliana Valdez made her way to California in her mother’s pregnant belly. She is an alumna of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, the Writing Program at UC Berkeley Extension, and a 2014 Hedgebrook writer-in-residence. A member of the Macondo Writers Workshop, she is the poetry winner of the 2015 San Miguel Writers’ Conference writing contest, and a 2016 Under the Volcano fellow. Her poems can be found in Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, Poetry of Resistance, and forthcoming in Huizache, among others.


All I Want

for Diamond Reynolds


                    all I want is my lover’s breath

at my nape

        his arms—

                    vines of blooming


‘round my hips.

pppppppppppnot this red-

pooled mo(u)rning.

ppppppppppppnot this crimson spilt.

ppppppI wake

and he is

      pppppppghost-gone. taken

by the trigger.

pppppppppppppI dream his blurred and honey-

        suckled fingers settling on my waist  

a trip wire:               

pppppppppppppppppall about to spark

  ppppppcicadas/lilies/white gloves.

ppppppppppppwhat am I to do

with the burning

                    with the somewhere between

                                prayer and throat.

my tongue detonates.

pppppppppppppppppthe bullets now my teeth.

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