Alli Cruz


While you sleep in a new state,
I play Mitski inside LAX,
my grief blooming privately
through the small openings
of my earbuds. Percussion in traveling
vibrations. Drums keep time,
my face trapped
in the glass wall.
Planes angle skyward.
One wears a bright red stripe.
Mitski’s voice,
the only sound: a falsetto swing
recorded years ago.
You agreed we never knew each other
in our past lives. The brief months between us
evidenced only by a blue striped shirt.
I face my face,
glassed over. I want to believe
my good side. How you saw me that close,
before changing your mind.
I wanted to hurt you,
briefly. I did.
Then I cried in your bed, believing tears
could expel the coal-sized shame
in my chest.
When this song ends,
I will fly over the city you lived in & left.



Alli Cruz is a writer of Filipinx and Cuban descent. Her work has appeared in The Margins, Blackbird, Hobart, The San Franciscan, and elsewhere. She received her BA from Stanford University, where she was a Levinthal scholar. Alli currently works at Sony Pictures Television.