A Girl’s Take on Heartbreak: Poetry by Ingrid Calderon

“Carelessly Unmade”


I don’t know how to tell a story
the fire spreads and gets hard to tame.
I s’pose it’s in my nature
that fire
if you believe in all that stargazing silliness
everything must be quick and manic
fervent and feverish.

I want to get close enough
to not to get burned.

I just want the warmth
the reddened cheeks
the mild trickle
of sweat slowly descending down my brow
the aftershock

indoors I don’t speak
I scrub my tub
and sweep behind the bed
where I find cigarette butts and old ash
from the thick prods of delicious lovemaking weeks prior
an empty bottle of water perhaps delivered hastily post coitus
wearied fabrics stained with fluids


I wouldn’t dream of changing them
not soon anyway
such filthy reminders help when he’s not around

I forget the city’s out there sometimes
lurking behind billboards and palm trees
the rough hush
of traffic calms me to nap

sprawled out on my 500 dollar mattress I bought with a pell grant
back when college seemed like a good idea

when I’m bleeding I like a snug fit
a tight black old dress hugging my arcs and bends
reminding me of my fullness
I like spilling out of it
and taking pictures of my swollen breasts
I’m so alive in that fire

the days leading up this are brusque
restless tears and salty epiphanies
have a way of destroying all plans I’ve made in my head
about loving myself
and knowing my worth

Oh that fire

tangled fire branches burning
catching leaves in trunk forests
leaping wisps of everything when it’s so close to the city that is me

the monsoon shift
drowning fire replenishing a swing low pressure plateau of circulating dry heat
those thoughts of ardor and fervor you  calm with just the sound of your say
the sound of the phone
animal deep
in water waiting to quench my thirst on your spring

delicious and hungry
the heart hastens only to hinder
honeyed helloes timidly leave my mouth
as you swallow my letters
jumbled in a torrent
that only you can decrypt

Born in El Salvador during the “silent” war and ending up in Los Angeles in 1986, Ingrid managed to tackle the English language and learn some French along the way. Currently residing in Echo Park she spends most of her time on the 9th floor of her office job, shadowboxing and fantasizing about her lover.



Poems curated by FORTH poetry editors.

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