antmen pimentel mendoza

Eau D’Bedroom Dancing (I Learn from You)

                    With a line from Le Tigre

I say I need to feel safe more than I need forever
because I spent long years cowering. I spent years

unsure your hand would ever find the length of me
could ever come in the small hour, in the room

after the storms. I need to feel safe
more than I need forever because I know

one is possible, know this when I kiss
the soft inside of your arm, your forehead.

You take your eyeglasses off and pull me
into you, show me the grace in my rest.

No words in the blue velvet, the California winter.
No words here where we’re two dancers at rest.

No words but to turn supine, the belly fat. No words
in the all blue, in the small sounds of a shared body

in shared rest. Caught in the rain, we kissed
under tree cover, I told you I learn by watching

my father love again. I feel safe enough here
in bed after the torrents, my hands on the wheel

now. The turns of the wheel now, palms
to the earth, scenes of recursion, as evidence

now: I mean look at what has been left.
I mean look me in the face where you come.

I mean wordless now but for the floods of skin.
I mean wordless now the only words I know
are “more,” “more,” and “more.”



After Campari Sodas and Modelo Especial, Before The Good Wife

If there’s a risk to this bid, watch me take it,
make it studied, metered, and if there’s risk,
it’s gone now, my hand on your inner thigh,

or us in my apartment, or your head on my lap
when you ask about my depression. I told you:
no, not numbness, not distance—not this week—

but self-loathing, swelling of an unbreaking tide
shoring the full length of me,
and you answer
with a hand teaching mine by demonstration

the firm touch you favor, your teaching hand
opening the space on the couch, holding shape
this facescape with rolling hills you find by lip.



antmen pimentel mendoza (she, he) is the author of the chapbook My Boyfriend Apocalypse (Nomadic Press, 2023). antmen is a writer, the Acting Co-Director of the Multicultural Community Center at UC Berkeley, and a student at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. His poetry is published or forthcoming in Underblong, Peach Mag, A Velvet Giant, and Gigantic Sequins. Find antmen online at @antmenismagic and or riding her bike in Oakland, CA.