Alva Cardona Nov 15

When the truth goes to church, it does nothing
more than pray. Truth prays for all humanity and
pleas to the heavens for her prayers to be heard.
No one has more faith in humans than Truth.
She kneels on the pew at the back of the temple,
knees hurting, arthritic and blistering, hot pain
on her feet, hands closed and folded, clasped tightly
together, grabbing strongly onto herself, as she has
nothing else to hold on to. Truth has a lot to say, but
no one wants to hear her confession. Truth has
no mortal sins in her confessionary repertoire.
Truth doesn’t even have pride or shame. Truth
fears no angels nor demons; she knows them all
by name. Truth has no Ten Commandments or
Seven Sacraments to follow. At church, Truth
can’t talk too loud; Truth has to whisper, or else
she will be shushed and shunned. As the Priest goes
on and on about lies people believe, Truth can’t help it
hear other people’s prayers and confessions, can’t help
but notice how everyone is ashamed of their own truths.
Truth humbles herself before God, prays for forgiveness,
for hurting those who’d rather be conforted by lies
and fooled by illusion. But Truth can admit it, that she
has no power in the mortal realm, that she is not and will
never be popular. She is nothing but an outsider that can only
be understood by the dead and her true form can only
be seen by those in the spirit world. Truth won’t go to
Heaven or Hell when she dies, but she knows she will die
alone –not in the Darkness, but in the Light. And for all
the times Truth prayed, she only got silence as an answer,
in return (as if it was God’s own divine mockery of peace);
and of all the things Truth could’ve prayed for, she never
prayed for salvation or redemption. Truth never prayed
to be beautiful (as her only sin on this Earth was that she
was not pretty; she was too ugly to be liked or loved).
Truth has no friends or family to bid her farewell.
And to add salt to her wound, Truth will die a Saint
that will never be beatified by those that preach her
words, or by those who praise and worship her. Truth
just asks one thing of God: to be delivered from Evil,
to get at least one sad, minuscule, insignificant
little miracle. But Truth will never realize that she
is the miracle, a candle that can't be held by humans
for too long, that'll burn bright in immortal hands
for all eternity, a flame that nobody can ever extinguish
and that no wild wind can ever tame. And when Truth
burns, it burns until it consumes everything in its
way, like an alchemist's fire, ‘til only ashes remain.

Alva Cardona Nov 13

The night is a mirror,
(a hi-def, hi-res mirror)
that shows me who I am.

The night is the silence
I can hear despite
the noise / the cars / the chaos.

The night is an abstract
that wants to be defined;
an empty, white canvas.

The night has no colors;
it’s all music and lights,
and full iridescence.

The night is dark, pitch-black.
It’s all colors and of no
hue in particular.

The night is the blank space
to be filled, the ellipsis;
the pause before the sound.

The night is the thirst of
the senses, for sensations;
the oasis to be drank.

Alva Cardona Nov 7

You hold me tight
in your divine embrace,
keeping me warm,
tied up and

I wonder:
how many arms
do you have?
I swear I can feel
multiple limbs
pull me close
by sheer force
of muscle

The one limb
pressed against  
my mouth,
the other, caressing
my face;

Another limb wrapped
strongly around
my waist,

The two other sets
of limbs pulling
my legs and arms

Some forceful
and violent,
some careful
and reverent,
but nevertheless
loving and

Because when you
make love,
you become
you become

You become Shiva,
my destroyer
and savior

And you never
let go.

Alva Cardona Nov 2

The six-year-old girl was doing alright,
in spite of losing her mother tonight.
“It could’ve been worse”, they said.
“It shouldn’t have happened!”, she thought.
Her white dress was covered in dirt and
her teddy bear was covered in gore.
She was in shock, the EMT had said.
The paramedic wished he could heal
all her wounds, but could only heal
the ones that were oozing with blood.
He knew the ones he couldn’t see
were the ones that were hurting the most.
She was sitting on the ambulance truck,
wrapped in a blanket the medic gave her,
an oxygen mask on her mouth, an oxygen tank
next to her, quietly watching as her house burnt
down. Her chest hurt too much, like her heart had
stopped and she hadn’t been able to breathe in a month.
Maybe it was because her heart had just broke.
“The doctors won’t be able to fix that…”,
she thought. She’s only six years old, and she
understands better than most the pain of that
kind of loss. Not even three hours ago, she lost
it all. Someone raped and shot her mum, and
burned her childhood home to the ground.
And she saw it all with wide, opened eyes.
She now regrets not shutting them closed.
The only thing she has now is Bugsy the bear,
the busted-ass teddy her drug-addicted father
gave to her as a gift, the one she carried with her
everywhere, and the one the mean kids always
made fun of. It was the only thing she could think
of grabbing while escaping the all-consuming flames.
“This is so you know I’m always with you”,
he said the day he gave Bugsy to her, the last
day she saw him; the day he went away, to
“get help” and never came back. She tried to make
Bugsy look like her dad, because as time passed
by, she was forgetting what he looked like;
now, she couldn’t even remember his face.
She hadn’t found the good memories, the ones
her mom told her about, the ones her mind and
heart held on to like a life jacket when it felt
like she was drowning in a sea of tar.
Now, Momma won’t be there to remind her
that she used to have a father, that she used
to be loved and safe, cared for and wanted.
The fire took it all, even her books, bedtime
stories and fairy tales –even the poetry books
her mother used to love reading, the ones she
used to read when no one was watching.
Elizabeth Bishop once said that losing is
“an art that's hard to master”, that “so many
things seem filled with the intent to be lost
that their loss is no disaster”. Should she practice
losing further and faster? Losing something every day?
If only she’d lost door keys or an hour badly spent;
If only she'd lost places or names, some cities or realms…
But she had lost more than that. “If only I’d lost my house
and my mum's watch, instead of my mum...",  
she thought as the tears finally fell from her eyes.
Maybe she'd lost her tears, too. But those were
things she really didn't want to find.

Alva Cardona Oct 29

At first, I thought it was the residual echo of a dream, a voice in the darkness waking me up and reaching out to me, seeking my ears like a bird trying to build its nest inside my ear canal or tympanum, ‘cause it was almost a whisper, almost a scream.

It kept knocking on my subconscious like hard knuckles on a door, asking for entrance. I wondered what it wanted, or who it was looking for; it was obviously at the wrong place, as I was the wrong person to be woken up. But it insisted on not being ignored.

“Harbinger...”, it said. It called to me, like the tremulous whimper of a mute person trying to shout. The word taunted me; it lingered in –and was stalking– my reality. Like a vision I could not see with my eyes, it appeared behind my eyelids during the day and kept resounding in the cracks of walls and halls, at night.

“Harbinger.” I thought it was gone, but the voice was still there. It kept singing like the raven in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, attempting to sound like a melodious canary welcoming the mornings. I started to wonder if it was the music that silence listens to, if it wanted me to dance or sing along with it, or if it just wanted someone to talk to.

“Harbinger!”, it cried louder. The booming noise could no longer be ignored. I didn’t know who that voice belonged to and why it tried to speak to me, or whether it was like a light or a shadow, a lie or a truth.

Then, I heard it, even louder and clearer than before. It revealed its name to me, or rather, what it said it was.

It was my Conscience.

It wanted me to no longer ignore it. It wanted me to acknowledge it and the fact that it is, simultaneously, the most scary and comforting –and dark and illuminating– thing that’s ever haunted humans; the ghost in the machine that is the mind.

Alva Cardona Sep 2

I can still feel your kiss on my lips,
like a ghost limb that is not my own.
You even haunt the air that I breathe.
My ears still hear the words you wrote
with your breath, in spectral-clear ink.
They just float in the air like white smoke,
hovering around like disembodied entities
that are so alien, they're not even from Earth;  
they're ancient and immortal time travelers,
going back and forth between the here and
now and yesterday, and that vast empire
in the great beyond called Oblivion.
They might as well have survived the
rise and fall of the nation of Babel, as they are
like its towers and its pillars; as they are
like its rocks and its ruins. As they are
my sublime destruction. As they are
my constant state of confusion
and my own private Babylon;
my undoing and downfall.

Alva Cardona Aug 29

Love made us crazy
in the same way
the solar eclipse
made us lunatics.

The sun went out.
The world went out.

It's just you and me,
standing naked in
the middle of the

Two patients in the
same asylum, with
the same hallucination
and the same delirium
of believing that we
were made for
each other;

That we can fly
and we can fall
from the earth
to the sky, and
land safely
on the clouds;

That the force
of gravity is
just a myth,
or perhaps
something that
we can defy;

That there's no
way we can fall
off the edge of
our own little
planet that's
floating around
in a parallel

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