National Poetry Month Day 19: Eloisa Amezcua







You call it love as you try to punch holes through each other
in the kitchen, no bell to force you to your corners.
Besides, her eyes, they’d follow you around any room—
this obsession, a fear she doesn’t have a name for.

In your corner of the kitchen, she’s a force
unlike any. Her voice rising, gradual as a balloon released into air.
Her fear, her obsession, a name she doesn’t know yet.
You’re out of practice. For weeks, you haven’t been a husband

to anybody. Your voice rises & gradually, like a balloon releasing air,
you see her body tense, waiting for a counter
from a husband out of practice. For weeks, you’ve been
with another woman who asks where it hurts the most

when you tense your body waiting for a counter
in the ring. Tonight, you trade good punches near the end
where it hurts the most. You know that no other woman
would be standing at the finish. She won’t let up

in the ring tonight. She trades a good punch at the end.
Her dark eyes, how they follow you in this room—
she won’t let up. She’s standing at the finish, both of you
still punching holes through each other & calling it love.


Photograph of Eloisa Amezcua © Chris Cheney.

Eloisa Amezcua is from Arizona. Her debut collection, From the Inside Quietly, is the inaugural winner of the Shelterbelt Poetry Prize selected by Ada Limón. A MacDowell fellow, she is the author of three chapbooks and founder/editor-in-chief of The Shallow Ends: A Journal of Poetry. Her poems and translations are published in New York Times Magazine, Poetry Magazine, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and others. Eloisa lives in Columbus, OH and is the founder of Costura Creative. More from this author →