Raquel Gutiérrez

Follow The Spirit, The Trail of Slurring Auras

that ride the night tearful ad hominem inside an ambulance. Fighting cocks

                 inside your ribcage, the Internet said a heart attack.

Prattle the idle, coaxing needles needling the need to

                                                                 be with someone that can find and put out the fires during a drought.

Who will take care of you when gossip surrounds you like revelers and effigy, who will watch over the you

who put away the altar years ago

And care. What is it?

                Do I make sure you are eating? Feeling? Carrying wild child

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                to term?

                                                                    You pine for the breathing. Stay awake, the course, coursing the seductive force of intravenous

                                                       lullaby, it only feels good right now. I dabble you with scruple, thrust your solar plexus skyward, ruby

                                                                birth stone powder your body your sex.       Leave diacritical bite marks from two thousand miles

away a paranoid gestation. You should be with someone that can take care of you lecture in the waiting room like      wolves and

horses that came to the palisade on their own, they, too, managed through fang and hoof to settle for new regimes

Balance and Grace Side

step the plentiful dust
during a Laredo cotillion;
muchas Marías in fiera
frill, tule we place a trust
in with daughters we keep out
of the sun. No te pongas
prieta under ribbons we undo
announcing ripeness over
high heels exchanged for dolls
A border queen manual the
only discourse to crema y nata,
the good stuff. You never
forgave Josie for offering your
malas mañas up in exchange.
Viento. She would tell the secrets
to tame you. Ventana. The OED too
ostentatious a project to gift you.
Wind. You got it anyway
sullied by the reminder that
you were once not good
enough and it still pisses
you off, doesn’t it? Window.
Two Tejanas proof pudding pedigrees
except only one gets a
quarterly check from oil sent
to a Brooklyn Heights address

When You're Rich        Or Someone Else's Boredom

A daddy fetish placed upon 1910

Father Hidalgo when he marches through the land

               white ducktail and dick in his hand, fingers fast fretting

                                   but I feel sad for his flag.


A poverty present reminding me

               by the way

                             you are too much except when you are too poor.


Reflex and spirit             hide the garbage behind a secret door—that was part of the plan

                the whole time.

This        being in the same room as rotting.

I drop sweat into the star crossed

              class war, a recycling bin there, done that

              when you ain’t looking             you lock me out.

Golden cuffs between Aztlán’s cheeks,

              the chicken carcass seeps into the hedges

                                see the neighborhood Siamese beeline.               Bristle at the sight.


It’s before noon and tax but

             I watched you smoke them        your cigarettes up my cunt

glowering morning                   strumming the same two guitar chords all night long.

blowing piñon through the keyhole.    smoke wings break into

            a bedroom borrowed                     a blanket disavowal warmth broken


I peppered your life in the hills             neoprene you lover           when I cuffed you

and called your calamity, a powder contained

                with a sieve exhales

                               the white to be angry.


A powder gifted and my heart almost stops                         we grunt it all night

I saw you present a paper the next day

and I proceeded to sulk my erasure


three weeks is what it took

for you to call it a good visit


Raquel Gutiérrez is a poet and essayist pursuing her MFA degree in poetry at the University of Arizona. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she writes about space and institutionality and publishes chapbooks by queers of color with the tiny press Econo Textual Objects, established in 2014. Her work has found homes in FENCE, Zócalo Public Square, ASAP Journal, Huizache, The Portland Review, Los Angeles Weekly, and Entropy