Caroline Maldonado

Caroline Maldonado

Caroline Maldonado is a poet and translator, of Isabella (2019 Smokestack Books) and Liminal (2020 Smokestack Books). The Creek Men and Faultlines, are both forthcoming with Knives Forks and Spoons Press.

Two poems
Monday, 18 January 2021 15:59

Two poems

Published in Poetry

The Count

by Caroline Maldonado 

First imagine Self     in a shut room the curtain
pulled tight    When he comes for you again

your heart like a trapped fly
crashes against the panes    You don’t cry

Drawing the curtains open you see
in every other window along the street

the blinds are down
He goes out    Keeps you in

with smartlocks and webcams
He’s kept your phone    When he comes

for you again the cries that rush for the exit
aren’t yours         the split

cheekbone isn’t yours    You’re about
to find a place with its own black-out

unaware of all the women
killed in a month of lockdown

and that you will be the 50th
First                               imagine Self

When all the lights go out

by Caroline Maldonado

Once all that was needed was
a single bulb not to work for

the whole chain to be corrupted
although there was still some hope

if I helped my father twist each
tiny glass phial in its plastic shell

and we found the one that had
loosened, become disconnected from

the electric current, and tightened it up
or replaced it (the set always came

with a small bag of spares) so that
once adjusted the whole line

swirled around the tree – suddenly
stars again – and that thought

led me to another where a head
of government makes a statement

with no connection to reality
and his followers, a string of them,

pass his words from one to the next
and then all the lights are out.