The bell rings
necks bent down
fingers fingering hashtags

and all I want to do is hide 
behind the filter with the flower crown 
hide this brown frown 
behind that little blue bird, 
pretend I don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck 
rejection-after-rejection, because yes 
lockdowns are more frequent than hugs 
sexual assaults more popular than ice-cream 
and no matter how much I rinse my mouth 
with soap, I can’t unroll my tongue 
from the fuckyou’s and motherfuckers 
that fly out of me like birds like bullets like wind, 
neck extending up fingers curling in, 
intestines regurgitating sadness forgiveness hope, 

like confetti
like confetti 
like confetti.    

LUIS LOPEZ-MALDONADO is a Xicanx poeta, playwright, dancer, choreographer, and educator. His work has been seen in The American Poetry Review, Foglifter, The Packinghouse Review, Public Pool, and Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity, among many others. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame. He is currently adding his glitter to the Land of Enchantment, working for the public education system, and preparing for acceptance to The University of New Mexico, School of Law, where he plans to pursue immigration, criminal, and personal injury law.