Carlota Gamboa



in the trees, a small fire—
down into the valley once
a town appeared a pathline
of thread unspooled before me
the trail of red ants was followed
the bell cloyed lament as though
sounds could see could pick
their target today was like
dusk, a green camp on the hillside—
yearning powders the air



truth trusts sense but won’t
remember O
pilgrims forgot their clothes
came off and that’s a problem—

like faith is a pleasure thing too
like sleep and food and sex
often keep no receipts
but still account for all
the pictures of myself I sold.


i want so badly to become a fixture
my steel face a faucet a trophy.


it’s like of course i’d be stupid
to get the word doll tattooed
on my body but i’m stupid and
it’d mean so much to me to think
i’ve branded myself as this
toy which is also a caring friend
or haunted object absorbing
foreign entities but mainly a sweet
thing that romps through summer
wearing pink or red or white camellias
like lolita lola but older tho not
as mature as the play-thing
in the attic but surely it’s all the same
girl and that’s why i want it.


yes isn't it cool isn't it cool
it takes getting nothing
to survive and to survive
always that’s always the goal
of the dream?

Biographical Statement:

Carlota Gamboa is a poet and translator from Los Angeles, CA. She is a current MFA candidate in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis.