Extinguished Stars/Cars/Cigarettes

Margarita Cruz

This is not a fascinating tale.

A breath, a gas station, tobacco perfume. Cigarette ends blister my hands

like shooting stars burn holes in the ground.
The impression of being strangled with a wire or a noose, or a lover

                Who doesn’t realize the bruises
                                               Left on his lover’s skin, around the neck or the

wrists, created in deep and uncontrollable passion, directionless ecstasy,

                                                                                                     erotic asphyxiation.





I want to tell you this story without revealing,
without letting you know that I drove to the gas station that night,

                                                                                     that I knew he felt different,

that I wanted to buy cheap liquor—Jack, Jim, Miller—obsessive.

                 I want to tell you this story with him as the main character:

Alejandro naked. Alejandro faded, in someone else’s bed.
Alejandro in her room, the dim static on tv, one hand on the blunt and the

other her cunt.

                                                              Tell me we never lived and I’ll love you.

I’m surprised I could speak with her there.

A window in my chest shakes, when I remember. A large shudder. The first






Can you see them, leaning against the car

                                                                                        standing still, not fucking

creating vapors between the gaps in the smoke? Can you see them

                inhaling into filters, inhaling soot, inhaling each other

to get higher—
                              gas leaking out of the hole in a car, fluorescents spill like

vodka bottles dropped, and the window shatters glass on the ground, and

                                                                                                   them suffocating—





I need to tell you this story ignoring that I passed a stop sign under the

night sky

                                                  Allowing something, that he raced me

                 and strangled me with cigarettes.

And he wanted it to be bad, and he whispered to me

                                                                                                   that he’d ruin me.

And he wouldn’t stimulate me, but he held my body pinned beneath his body

               And spread my legs until I couldn’t feel them to use them

                                                                               for me

But bones heal. An unwished for star shot.

                                                                                                                  star shot.





His hands shook stars out of the sky but they didn’t grant wishes.

He drowned my lungs

                with his lungs and the stars
kept falling, burning us beneath in tobacco twinkles.

                    He tasted like a combination of candy, cannabis—

                                      On the metal hood stars, and fluorescent light shining

off the chrome,
Illuminate. Like taking drags and releasing them into the air, impressive and

                                bragging fumes into my crevices—

Retching deep and strong

                 And filling the air with acidic spew, muting conversation

Bringing us back again, inhaling and exhaling the better times on the hot


                                 And waste, lots of waste
Waste much smaller than he ever created or made, uncomfortably his

                                                                  But a story comfortably his anyways.