moctezuma 

My love and I are being evicted from our house on Pluto. No one wants us here anymore.  My love has blue roses that sprout from his hand and they have planted themselves here in the winter of this planet. Our brown skin has learned to sustain itself here. This planet has never seen hand bones so capable of loving. Our skin has grown accustomed to the cold. When we were children, our mothers told us that Moctezuma sent his warriors up into mountains to collect crushed ice for him. He would drench the ice in the nectar of fruit, blood warm from the sun. The sun we have never seen before.

 

My love knits me blankets out of red yarn and they always feel itchy on my arms and legs. I don’t tell him this, instead, I lay the blanket over our bed, waiting for him to climb over brass knuckles to return home to me. Tomorrow, I’ll take our bed apart like it is built of bird bones and put it in my sac and carry it over my shoulder. You may ask, how could we know about birds? They are carved in the books our mothers left here for us. If I wish too hard, the birds will freeze and won’t reawaken until more of our people come to this house and knife them back to life. Tomorrow, I’ll pull all of the roses from the garden until their petal heads fall off and freeze and they’ll make a trail of dirt behind us, my yellow gown flapping in the haze and my black-eyed love will never look back, his hair slick with charcoal and rain from my mouth.

 

We’ll circle down into our burial, our ropes dotted with frozen candle wax that we’ll X across our bodies. But first, we’ll build a little kitchen table and use a knife to make a cup that we’ll drink in abundance until our throats burn and sing. We won’t remember this little house we left behind, only the lights that combust over our skin again and again, making our children and stars in this cold cold fire.

 

 

 

 

Monique Quintana is the Senior Beauty and Fashion Editor at Luna Luna Magazine and a pop culture contributor at Clash Media. She blogs about Latinx Literature at her site, Blood Moon and her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Queen Mob’s Tea House, Winter Tangerine, Huizache, and the Acentos Review. You can find her at moniquequintana.com Her novella, Cenote City, is forthcoming from Clash Books in 2019.