All Accounts and Mixture: Poetry by Dominique Salas

Please, (With)Hold Me
This mattress is just
a thin(skinned) dummy
for the bitter
-sweet slick lacuna
of a womb’n; and yes,
I say womb’n in spite
of the fact that not
every womb’n will burgeon
a baby—she is
a biochemical potent
ial; and yes, I say womb’n
because not
every womb’n
who burgeons a baby
will keep the baby; and yes, import
antly, because not
every womb’n
who burgeons a baby
and keeps the baby
should call her
self a mother; and yes, finally
because I am
self-infatuated: I do not need
a mother. But I do
want to be
swaddled complete
with neoteric-new lungs—
seal unbroken—white
fluorescence unseen, a
doctor-man’s smack   
against my bottom
rewound. I am
only honest. [†]

[†] Just sayin’


A Girl Crush

Eeek, whatever to do
about the torque feral
between our hearts 
among other things? I 

told my mother & she saw
the calculations she 
redrew while re
fencing the argument be
tween the cellophane pages
of the old & new

testaments. I gave it true
to you. I said, this isn’t
only an experiment 
in elation borne of spec
ulation. But my mother,
she sat me on the bed
and told me that the 
experiment had been
tabulated. The normativity
in her wavers, split out of her
& hovers & it’s bottom
lip trembles, confused, but eggs
her on the shoulder blades. It is 
what it is, is what 

she says. Boys
will be boys. Play with your
sugar crumb toys. & my 
brother, too young to help,
does. He says, I never want
to suck on little boys—

St. Raphael School: With God All Things Are Possible

When we bound and gaggl’d up in
to social groups, I fell in love with
the discord of lady shackles: the ooo-
la-la so-subtle scent of perfume’d 
tampons wafting up from be
tween our thighs. Maybe
I miss that, the slow grind 
of time measured by the cool 
pollute of your words in my 
direction, shut in wide-
ruled school paper, folded 
again & again so I could pick up 
the work in unfolding you
r note before glutting up the doodlegrin 
slipped in & then at the end, slowly, 
rupturing my mouth radical-wide 
to gulp up the the itty bitty poison-winks
that dotted your ‘i’s: bones fashioning
the skulls. You’d want the pink
slip when you turned in work to Sister 
Rosa like that, playing witless,
playing like girls us girls could fit between
the serif’d lines of scripture forever, playing 
like our hands were cold during 
recess, whisper-growling, K.I.T. Don’t 
ever change.

playing right

the way i shout into
the fluorescence 
technicolor slurs of my
being does not effect
them: their lives & the serif’d 
bills in circulation,
cuffing certain neighbor
hoods; but they have a right,
they say, to voice that they are
confused; they say, oh,
can you please punctuate 
your body into tighter fabrics;
we need to see the silhouette
of your lot in life & could you, you
know, take this bottle of sun
screen & splat yourself white

before going into day
light. actually don’t
take walks with the sun
out, or late at night either, if you don’t have 
to & i am curtsies and shivers,

usually, but now, i am willing
to say, i’ve stopped bathing
in milk, hoping to whittle
into Cleopatra— no 
not the real one, 
the white lady one with a creamy 
disposition & and a nodding body.

Sonata in Jabón de Sangre

Since you’ve left, I get rest-
less near the cusp 

of the morning. An “eclipse

of sense” is what my therapist
eureka’d at me during the end

of our first session, me describing

what I do: I try to make myself 
wake up at night,

with my eyes closed, to grab on

to your far-away and pixelated
dream-face. Pretend 

it is happening now. Later, I decide

I am going to write 
the sonata 

we wrote together, 

in my dream. In it you whispered,
Ya vez, loca!  So I named it 

Llaves Locas. You would have 
hated it. But I keep your face,

on the inside of my dream-gauzed eye

lids, while I climb
down the stairs, saddle up 

to the piano, sit on bench, and reach

into the shallow wash basin full
of soap sediment and water. Dirty

is how the new rag feels as I plunge

it into the basin, wring it over my feet,
and scrub until the water flickers

and expands with red from 

my soles. Now, I can stand 
on the white and black 

enameled slabs, focusing 

the toes of my feet on 
the keys. 


Adolescent on the Way to Water

Whittling soft bark, thumbing the grooves gently, 
the transient caught me peeking from the car; 

As if to pluck me with his knife, he 

waved over while my father idled 
in the gas station’s. Hiking up my skirt 

I shimmied out 

of the car to him and sat down so naturally, legs crossed, 
in the ice machine’s shade. He stood & looked 

down at me. In the sun, the knife he used 

to scratch his beard glinted back and forth my face. Dizzily,
I waited for him to say anything. And when he did,

it went something like this: You look like you know what you could do

with a knife and some wood if I gave you the chance. Girl,  I’d pop out
each one of your teeth and make a new drama of constellations 

that’ll spread out our story longer than it will take the sun to die

— or maybe it went something more
 like I’d appreciate it if you’d take me 

to Alamogordo, little ma’am. 
Regardless of the exact positioning,

it was then I wondered:
Did he know I thought about feeling him 

on me, everywhere: on the pads of my 
fingertips, cliff of my nose, edged-lining 

of each toe, and in the silkened, scalloped 
world between my legs while 

my father’s keys hung heavy, 
ready in the slot of the ignition. 


Dominique Salas is an MFA candidate and instructor at New Mexico State University. She has recently appeared in riverSedge, Dead Flowers: A Poetry Rag, and The Blue Lake Review.