[Poetry] — Jorge López Llorente

Heat death

The heat butterflies, violent but silent,
across your face as if on a leaf-blower’s
blast, flapping the seraph-fire wings it forges
into your eyes, until you can’t see
but only feel the air shimmer in the distance,
but only feel heat.

The swelter crawls across your leg, mosquito-
buzzing, as you walk through the wasteland by the street,
where weeds taunt branch-tied trees, green almost a memory,
sucking any liquid they can,
like a parasite sweat or a fever haze
– but no, the heat’s us,

an invasive species, of carelessness, surprise, exhaust,
like the rare snapdragon in a crack in the pavement,
its open lips a magenta tremble,
but it’s more like a snake in the grass, where there’s no grass,
unless it’s in some sunstroke vision or mirage
beyond our word “hot”?

No, the new heat death from textbooks,
rather than that intangible entropy,
arrives – literal, not paradoxical;
on trees, not paper; cold-blooded, not cold –
without enough words, too fierce, too fast.

Too much… heat… Can’t think fast… enough…

Red tides

The sea has swallowed its own carmine sunset,
with no swimmers or boats in sight,
in a wine-dark bloom, as if an odyssey
of reds and light browns from verses and hearsay
have clouded reality,
or our eyes lie with gusto
just before dusk in a dash
of vibrato flames or poppy petals so lush.
The sea blushes as it flirts with its rouge
and sudden lipstick, but its foam hides rage,
apoplectic, as if it had cut
itself, no, not quite,
but there is a rash, an unseen wound
– somebody’s blood in the water? No sharks, just algae that wind
themselves around each wave
and so this tapestry they weave,
blood-red by day, neon-blue at night when sloshed,
bristling with fairy lights, sickly radiance unleashed
with electrifying shock. Fish below are scant,
in the blues now bioluminescent
of a quiet sea
                                  of troubles near a quietus sigh,

for onlookers to admire its toxic beauty
as if it were just “picturesque” or “poetic”.


Jorge López Llorente is a bilingual writer from Madrid, Spain. His debut poetry collection Los ojos desdibujados is out with Cuadranta and his other poetry and fiction have been published in -Algia and Mordedor. Twitter: @JorgeLLlorente