Three Poems by Artemisio Romero y Carver

“Improvised Explosives”

I was visiting family in Kansas City for July 4th
My Dad and his dad are trying to hurt
each other as much as you can with words
I just grab a chair and watch the fireworks

“PPP1 (Poverty Porn Poetry #1)”

My people
that’s what I said but it felt fake in my lungs
I can still taste it in the ridge of my gums

A matriarch in St. Vincent’s Hospital now
Queen Martinez in a hospital gown
No nonsense bruja presides over her little crowd
I don’t know these people but I recognize them

Uncle and aunts
dogs and cats

Don’t open the window honey, you’ll let the flies in
When the lights closer they’ll fight over a white folder
they chew on the gristle and leftover money
even what little her headlights sold for

We’ve got as much cancer as her
To her majesty and an answer
I push through our customs and my cousins
She says

I love my people and I just don’t trust them

“Betty Boop Boom Bap”

She said I have full lips
I hope you know that
their full with
gritted teeth raw meat insecurities and
Also maybe a late 80’s mullet
Latin masculinity
pumped up into a balloon animal
A balloon animal that doesn’t talk to his wife
cheats on her and looms magical
over my life
Bodybuilder poltergeist
tells me it’s not okay
in any terms conditions or ways
that it makes me happen when you say

That I look pretty

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