Chris Muniz / Poetry 5.1 / Spring, 2017




The two of us push against
the wind, the street
scurrying as fast as we can
from the car to the porthole
in the mute face-wall
of a city
eager to devour
boys like us
vermin of the night.

We feel the bite of cows flesh
beneath our jackets
a tinge of shame
that we hate ourselves
for feeling exposed
as we scurry through
hole after hole
door after door
the city’s gutter
welcoming us
opening with a sigh
as we bury ourselves
in the scream of speakers
the whip-crack of skin

eager to taste the love-bite
of each other’s pain.


with your feet in the air and your head on the ground
gravity always wins.
I promise you this.

shell smashed, juices flowing
my heart is yours
That’s what I do
I hold on to
my favorite dreams of you
still wash ashore
wasn’t it clear
right from the start
that I’ll be the one?

look at the stars
look at the sky
see how it tastes
even after you’re gone
however far
whatever words I say
however long I pray

these memories keep slowly
taking me apart
scraping through my head
if I could just blow
someone listening in

the truth is for you
I would bleed myself dry
crawl back into your arms
make it clear from the start

gravity always wins.
I promise you this.

First Kiss

When I take your face
in my hands, I take more
than your tongue against mine.

You see, you
catch my eye
the same way certain stones do
in fields of desert sand, shards of light
reflecting flames of this falling star
we call the sun.
So it is with the crystal mirror of your eye:
my reflection
my smile
my voice
outside of this core I call me.

Are on the outside
the same way the stone is
and like the boy inside, trapped
beneath a heaving sun
skull burning red
sand pebbles in his scalp
glinting like a thousand eyes
I pick up the stone and realize
it’s not as precious as it seemed.
Jagged quartz, tarnished crystal.
A rock I should stab my eyes out with maybe
but no, that would only make the pit deeper
for a narcissism so complete
that all I can do is kiss you
and love the way
you taste in

my mouth.

Chris Muniz  is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California in the Literature and Creative Writing program. His creative and critical work center on the intersection of race, identity, and culture in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and American West. A former Editor-in-Chief of Gold Line Press, Chris is currently nearing completion of his first novel, Owl Medicine. This is his first publication of poetry.


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