Read: Carter Becerra

Carter Becerra is a writer. He writes words. Sometimes the combination in which they appear is worthwhile but most times they are not. He went to a school somewhere and got a degree about something, but neither of those things matter. He is from a country, but thinks nationalities are silly invisible cloaks people wear in order to stop thinking about how we are all same. Carter likes to write about past, the present, and the future, because those concepts encompass every other concept ever known to mankind. He likes to discuss art, but not his art, and not himself, because the Self is non-existent, like time. Both Time and Self clash with his idea of Art. He lives in a paradox, but lives to love and loves to live, because like most artists, he dreams about one day being the perfect cliché.

Carter Becerra does not consider himself a poet. He considers all people poets, some people just happen to write down words.

When The Lights Go Off

When the lights out
The fan stays on
Even in the winter
Whirling, like brittle brown leaves prattling across concrete in a cold wind
Babbling like baby’s laughter in the background
If no one hears it
Does it still make you smile?
When the lights go out
My dreams become solitary like the ocean that lives in my front yard
But all you can see are cypress trees in big puddles
I’ve never been afraid to get my feet wet
Never been afraid to swim
Until I couldn’t touch then dive down till I couldn’t feel
Lungs became gills breathing in the unknown like new life
Memories of people left behind lost on the surface level
Serve as scuba gear no longer needed
Cast off like a freshly healed arm
Sometimes still feels broken
When the lights go out
I reach out for her hand
And imagine her face in the darkness
Sometimes it’s not the same her
Most times there is nobody there but moonlight
Still dances like crystal ballerinas on her flawless split ends
Beaming a long lost image into my eyes as they intake nothing
Pupils dilating, adjusting to the fact that there are some people
You will never see again, except
When the lights go out
The sheets become lavender red wine serotonin
The pillows become dove white, pigeon gray, raven deep purple, float like a feather
The opaqueness of the room becomes Coca-Cola in green glass sweet
Each sip leaving you thirstier, drink till your starving
To conquer, like Julius Cesar
When the lights go off the night becomes Cleopatra Nubian perfect
Wanting to give up empires for ten seconds of intimacy
Like a kiss at a party
And right then realize the cosmos is contained in a moment
No one, including us, will ever understand or remember
When the lights go out
I don’t say a prayer
I say a poem, but it still sounds a lot like faith in something bigger than any pronoun
Bigger than any balloon tied around the wrist of any kid
But not bigger than a child’s wonder watching it float away into the twilight
There are places we know deep in our hearts
Even if we’ve never been there
When the lights go out


Somedays, somedays I don’t feel like moving
Like a mailbox flap on Sunday
I don’t want to open up to the world
Because the prettiness of rainy days might washout out the cobwebs
Kept in the corners of my Mondays

It was Monday when you moved out
And I cried in the same chord progression
As Simba watching Mufasa fall, it’s safe to say you left a scar
So I banished vowels from my vocabulary
U and I didn’t matter anymore and sometimes neither did Y
So I practiced tongue twisters to perfection
Constantly producing consonants serving as rip currents
Pulling me back into myself
So if anyone asked me anything personal
I could spit back responses in the shape of whirlpool tornados
Ripping the roofs off conversations with tear soaked insults
Snatching out all the picture framed questions of people I used care about
Because looking at snapshots of the past, always seems to snap my memory in half
Like books left open face down, I guess my spine wasn’t as strong as your back, when you turned it
The same way lava turns into igneous rock becoming harder as it gets cooler
Than cool

On sunny days, I can feel the ice thaw, I don’t like it
Somedays, I don’t want to write poetry anymore, I don’t want to pick up the pen
Because my hand seems about as steady as my voice during puberty
Ready to crack like concrete under the pressure of a rose growing away from it
Seems about as strong as the way I’m able to roll a boulder bigger than myself to the entrance of my
Acceptance, caving off light of tomorrow because it’s too bright to look at
I should have told you it is easier for me to cut off the future than let go of the past
So I guess we are both at fault, but blaming you is easier, and much more childish
Somedays I never want to grow up

It was later when I realized some people aren’t meant
To mean what they say. I never said love, but I did say roses for no reason
I did say shoulder to cry on, when your tears begged you not to fall too far
Because they can’t be recaptured, like avalanches going backwards
It’s always easier to run someone down
It’s easier for me to believe you don’t hear the call
When you don’t pick up the phone
But even if you did, I don’t know what I would say
I always seem to forget my lines when I’m not one stage
But I know improv won’t improve your chances of coming back
And I pray I don’t dream because you’re face still haunts me
Ghosts aren’t always dead, sometimes they’re just people we pretend don’t exist anymore
Just people, like me and you, used to be us
Singular in our togetherness, singular in our duality
Supporting each other the way a stem does a flower
Or maybe it’s the other way around

I thought love was a duel in which both people draw pistols made of poems
That shoot promises ending in words
Like real, always, forever.
But maybe love is a shooting range
And one person stands still with a whole in the middle of their chest
And the other walks away
I hope it’s you
Because You’ve already proven you’re better at it


Your love, your love
Is Amazon strong
Brown river brackish water
Filled with alligator crocodiles
Who don’t sleep
And attack anyone who thinks they are bold enough to swim upstream
Towards the pulse of your beating heart.
I am
Bull shark
Born to swim against the current
I know you are as hard
As nails
Not the ones you paint to be pretty
But the ones you file your teeth with
So you are ready to bite back when the world changes it’s name to bully and offers you big slice of knucklecake
You strike back, hard like nails
Made of diamonds
Fighting an armada of rusty hammers
Fighting to prove
That fighting is proof that love is never needed
Anymore, so
You stand on the shoreline in a life where every day is
D-Day, World War Tonight
Hoping you can slay all future fuckbuddies
Before they see the tears fall
Like the shell casings of empty shot glasses at your favorite bar,
Like the dick casings filled with dead seamen fallen to your bedroom floor like trophies of naval battles that reside on the ocean bottom. Victory sounds like death beneath the waves
Victory sounds like life beneath the sheets, sometime sound like the same thing, So
Yes, you win. You have proven men are nothing to you
You have proven you are as heartless as any drunken Friday night Frat-Boy who failed English because
He has dyslexia for all four letter words
Like, Hate, Love, Dead
Is what we become when
We add another notch to our bedframe, just for fucks sake
Pun intended to hurt
when you carve out another chip of your heart and leave it
Sprinkled in between the sheets
Like pubic hairs
That will never grow back
Like hurt feelings attempting to be fixed by Band-Aids
Sometimes the remedy
Is not to reminisce on all the things done wrong
Some of us would have a better chance of counting the grains of sand on the shoreline
But then we would end up missing the beauty of the beach
Please, don’t miss out on the fact
That not all the facts matter. Life is not a biology test
A constant comparison of X and Y chromosomes
Only leaves the question of why so many ex’s make me feel alone
And that line might be cliché, but so is
When you say, you don’t need love
I’m don’t want to be your knight in shining armor
I would rather be
Running with scissors
For your straight jacket sleeves
That you keep wrapped around your cardiac tissue
I don’t want to give you a tissue
I would rather give you my sleeve
To use a tourniquet for any old unhealed war wound
In this battlefield we called relationships
I don’t want to be Mr. Right, just another lie
Like all the men who left
Before the sunrise because they couldn’t handle beauty of a new day and your face at the same time,
Slinking away in shadows is much easier than facing the honesty of Sunday morning
I know this because I was once one of them
But I matured my way back to pre-school age. I don’t want to fuck
I just want to give you a flower
And hope you see your reflection
And when you see me, I hope you don’t see a man
But rather a bullshark,
That isn’t afraid to fight the current,
For you.