Maps with Monsters

I fell
in love in an
Albuquerque panaderia with
a pirate after he pulled a piece of eight
from his pocket and said he’d watched the last
movie that made me cry while we talked over Colombian coffee,
cherry empanadas, broken biscochitos, and the thing was—by the time
we talked about plot armor, I had looked the madness in the eyes.

Really, I know better, then to pretend that prisms
release rainbows and to love a man who wears his courage as an emblem
and wants to breathe in a world not his, either some real or pixelated place.
I also harbor want of wander, regenerative space, quests of understanding
fiends, of transforming one’s own face, but I have seen the prices
and the pieces that hide beasts.                Because I have already lost.
Because quest is always odyssey, and I am not some spectral anchor
or some ink to mark a map for an eventual return.

A man can leave his footsteps anywhere
but a woman who wants wanders is a forest furling,
is burning, seeking, forging, and forgetting a world that was never really hers;
charts of smoke and ember, always-aware footfalls, and the whisper that
Penelope never really wanted to be a    waiting    tower    queen
hiding hours in her tapestry, making maps to be unmade, or
Zelda, some white star:    her supernova words and sequins
—already some sacrificial galaxy, not some atlas, not
some    legend    to    be    learned.

Maybe the key is not hidden
in biscochitos, some treasure map
X or constellation, maybe it’s
a forest filled with spells or
a river filled with turns.
Learning what maps
hide what monsters,
where to    wander
and how to


Las Vegas, 2049

Hive resurrected & feeding on dust,
I hope that when you find me I look like
the bees that return after the ending of things
having survived apocalypse and rebirth,
a returning tremor world-changing, quiet & lost
but not forfeit. Honey made of illusion, smoke & rust.

No matter how many bees I am, please believe me.


Inside I am Raining

As a child, my mother always ended our tour
of the Natural History Museum, with the comet
crashing to earth and then the hallway made of
glass panels, underneath us, roaring—a chasm
of orange and red and yellow paper flames.
It was a while, before I was old enough to breathe
through this: glass is fragile and so are people and
I wonder if you wonder if, once a fire is forceful
what hearth is left to hold a heart?

Here is my confession—
               I have never seen real magma,

and it might be time to note that I am not always
burning. I am trying my best to come out of this on fire
is what I have said, what you have said, what we have
heard almost every time, and those who can’t say it,
we give flame to. After all,

               to be drenched is to be human,
                              or it might be.
I have been in the heart of a caldera which once cradled
mantle and magma, and there is no fire there. The walls
are golden sulfur, mineral orange and a purple that has
no name, texture of dripping flame and long lost detonation.
Silence echoes. Breath—the only wind. I like to think the inside
of me is also this rainbow, also this forgotten bomb. From above—
from earth—groundwater falls, a soft rain over fossil, from space
into lava tubes, into aquifer, and when I emerge from there
it is into a hurricane on an arctic tundra. Inside, I am raining.
My hearth, my only

               I wonder    if you
                              unravel in waves
                                                               like I do.
Water seeping, cooling ash and anguish,
but we do not wilt in fire. We do not

I am   you are   inextinguishable,

It’s the light making the fire
Not the paper.

Kristian Macaron resides in Albuquerque, NM, but is often elsewhere. Her poetry chapbook collection is titled Storm. Other fiction and poetry publications can be found on her website. Most recently Gargoyle Magazine, and Luna Luna Magazine. She is a co-founding editor of the literary journal, Manzano Mountain Review.   WEB