A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Karla Cordero


Summer’s drought in my ankle



In my ankle a small wind stirs in the grass
In my ankle grass fiddles their thumbs gentle 

In this street my ankle finds 
sailor ships locked in ice—

In this street my country’s story
is a locked joint—a car-smoked-bone





My raincoat is swelling


My country is swelling double its normal weight
My socks swell
like stone-heavy weights
My country watches
its guilt—lick their paws clean
& a boy’s footprints are shot in the sand
like a wounded dog
My country
licks their fingertips from the cheek bones of a boy 
they shot
& another boy they shot
& when they shot a third boy
My country
like a lost dog


Since I was a little girl I’d been in love with Spiderman comic books. I always admired how a flawed character like Peter Parker could posses such phenomenal powers to save people. One day, a boy who had overheard my ridiculous yet compassionate  discussion for my favorite super hero, proceeded to surprise me with a Spiderman Mr. Potato Head toy. Considering I’m a Toy Story fan as well, this one boy won and still has my heart. 

Karla Cordero is a Loft Literary Spoken Word Immersion Fellow. She is the founder and editor of Spit Journal. Her work has appeared in Word Riot, The Acentos Review, Nailed Magazine, Toe Good Poetry and elsewhere.  Her first chapbook, Grasshoppers Before Gods, is to be published in 2015 by Dancing Girl Press.