khumbula

khumbula

you’ve already seen the stars in the southern sky
and still you burn
with the intensity of an ancient inferno
from the land of first life.
I want to fear lions, stalking through the darkness
at the edge of the firelight,
to sit with you, watching
the flames melt the moon,
under your stars
which sparkle with a luster
unrivaled
by any diamond ever mined.

by Cara Baker

(Untitled) by Brendan Winnans

by Brendan Winnans

I have inexhaustible cravings
For adventure for wanton vices that I have canoodled with in the dark.
And sometimes I find myself alone and bored
I wonder if I should open a fortune cookie, base my whole life around it,
and if it will then excite me, forcing me to destiny.
And I sometimes
wonder if ripened plums wonder why they share such alikeness
To sunsets.
And I wonder if the juices of the self same plums can make up for nights
of gambling given up, fag ends gone unsmoked,
Because alongside the plums I too have wondered.
And I have wondered,
Because after longnights counting strokes with vices
Like unbridled lovers I have woken to morning
And in the morning
I have seen burning parrots
And I have seen where burning parrots go to lay their eggs.
I have climbed the branches of sleepy trees.
And sometimes I wonder where the wild birds go to fix their broken wings,
And whether birds in plum sauce taste different when they had no place to go.
I have had my tarot read and come up with
I have sold a bit of cocaine or rather split the bag.
I have dug into the mud expecting to get dirt under my fingernails,
And I bite them sometimes just to taste.
I listen to the radio when I am sad and walk around the changing world I keep in my head,
I wonder if I can be happy without a queen, without foghorns and fog.
I wonder if in a year I will reach across a table for some ketchup and put it on
Some chitinous bugs or some strange new concoction of taste I have never dared to yet try.
And I dare to ponder on this thing called hope, call myself a man
And let it grow.

(Untitled) by Karim Quesada

by Karim Quesada

Yucatan, obscured by clouds,
Depicts a people’s roam.
Temples to the sky erupt,
Then jungle swallows stone.

Kings and priests of jaguar skin
Crave monumental grounds
Built by backs of glistening bones
While quetzal birdsong sounds

But all the strength and all the jade
Won’t save them from the cold
Of unseen foes, which white sails bade
That thirsts for host, not gold.

Empires crushed by fever while
Survivors left to roam;
Temples static, grand no longer:
Strangers swallow stone.

City College of San Francisco's Literary Magazine