Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
Love at the Soviet Kitchen, 1980
"Sex was never as neat as the movies made it. Real sex was messy. Good sex was messier."
— Laurell K. Hamilton
Forget that vodka bottle,
give me a sink full of your dirtiest dishes,
let me soap you up
scrub suds off your grayest stained warm ups—
sans socks loving you barefoot,
the nakedness of your toes,
let me take you here
on freezing gulag winter floors
brushing aside our broken broom
as I adore your handles my love, feel
through your over-sized Olympic hockey tee
reaching your bra-less chest,
such a treasure I must confess,
to feel you like this, so unclean;
my favorite faucet wet dream…
keeping me awake, craving
Dr. Zhivago fantasies—
you can be my master
and I will be your margarita dream.
Let me stir you,
taste you with my cigarette breath
relight your nicotine lips,
tongue vacation after dinner,
not enough for dessert,
let me whip cream your hips,
licking every drop as you undress,
spooning closer among the crusted utensils
of our rusty silver wear; as I slide down
your stained white panties, reaching
for my favorite part, licking off
all your saltiest sweat, hungers me—
why go out when there’s all I can eat,
staying within me, feeling your candle
reignite, I love seeing your ‘devour me
all my desert thighs’ look melting me;
I can feel the flair in your eyes
undressing me with your lipstick
I’m already there, indulging
our priceless longings,
by taking down the ribbon
and inhaling all the beautiful greasy curls
of your unwashed blizzard hair.
Papi says, I Could Lose 15-20 lbs
But the sadness, just like
my hambre never waits,
always hungering to find
me, within these extra
pounds, libras, never belly
full, mi barriga always
eating me, feeling empty
dressed muy apretado
in this too tight black suit,
some days during la comedia
I can still hear her la cocina
voz from the kitchen, telling
me to termina su plato, so
in her honor, I always finish
my plate; my Papi doesn’t realize,
I just don’t agonize over
almuerzo, even during
desayuno mourning, sorrow
simmers so many flavors
with each thankful bite, Mami’s
murió passing keeps devouring me.
instead of saying grace, I always
offer her my appetite.
We Couldn’t Even Afford to Go Inside
I can still taste the air of sativa clouds,
in our loft apartment,
as we spent our last dollars on dime bags—
joints rolled with pages from our favorite novellas.
Ivy always refused to give up her Catcher in the Rye,
so I offered my Sun Also Rises.
She was more of a starving artist, than me,
foregoing any meal just to hunger herself for inspiration.
All I ever heard was her stomach growling for left over pasta;
I always brought home leftovers from the diner—
the place I worked nights to pay the rent
as she painted on bed sheets like naked canvases.
We never could afford paper.
I remember the way she would draw sketches
coloring away on napkins in between sips,
from those downtown coffee shops.
Ivy would fill herself up with caffeinated eyes
to enliven her bong hit highs—
afterwards we would go wandering around the library
searching for new adventures in pages.
I still remember all those books we checked out;
we had stacks of so many unread volumes;
our books would stay there
like our imaginary pets and our invisible children
calling our names through our clouds of smoke.
We just could never return them—
Just Kids was my favorite.
On other days we would visit the Art Institute.
I got my best ideas from Patti Smith’s book.
We only had enough change for one ticket,
so one of us would go in
and film the art exhibits with our iPhones—
while the other one waited
and watched from outside.
I went to the Jackson Pollock exhibit.
It wasn’t Ivy’s style.
She claimed Pollock’s paintings were rainbow semen collages—
and I would argue, what’s wrong with that?
Ivy would just sit there grinning,
her goal was always to get a rise out of me,
so she could get me to slip inside her, again.
This time it was my turn to go inside;
even though I longed to share Pollock’s cum paintings with her,
reluctantly I entered the museum alone.
Filming everything from the inside,
I don’t remember much of the exhibit,
but I do recall peering outside
and seeing Ivy across the street, bus stop leaning
while smoking another one of her hand rolled Bugle cigarettes.
When my cell phone ran out of juice, I went out to meet her.
Ivy would always run up and hug me, tongue first,
in my mouth like an airport greeting.
I loved the way she missed me.
I remember our last day together,
heading back uptown, holding hands
while she softly rested her head on my shoulder,
walking closer to me, Ivy whispered,
blowing smoke against the Chicago wind—
“I promise you, one day we’ll go together,
and the world will be all ours.”
We never did.
Adrian Ernesto Cepeda: "I am an LA Poet who is a recent graduate of MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles where I live with my wife and our cat Woody Gold. My poetry has been featured in The Yellow Chair Review, Frontier Poetry, poeticdiversity, The Wild Word, Lunch Ticket and one of my poems was named the winner of Subterranean Blue Poetry’s 2016 "The Children of Orpheus" Anthology/Contest. You can connect with me on my website: www.AdrianErnestoCepeda.com.