Poetry Collection – by cmleather

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American Spirit

If our love was a cigarette,

I’d call it an American Spirit.

Lasting longer than the others,

we were nothing like

the Marlboros

or the Camels

or the Virginia Slims.

We certainly were not as those

cigarettes were so

bitter, brief, banal, no,

nothing like that.

I choked on your light as the

orange flame lit up my darkest

corners, the way a goldfish

illuminates in clear water.


I sparked you up

and saw the entire night sky,

glorious and gruesome.

Loving you was like smoking

an American Spirit cigarette,

just when as I inhale my drag,

we burn out once more.


If You And I Were Colors

If you and I were colors it seems

we are gunmetal now and I’m

longing for your shades of tawny

lemon that were displayed in violent

self-expression. We are entities

distanced by the gray void where

love once burned amber. You left

to swim in seas alone, to devour

teal, ultramarine and cerulean.

To see viridescent earth and undress

its colorful mysteries with another.

I can feel your jaded fatigue.

I know that I bleed and I’m red,

so heated I burn severely

sanguine, scarlet, cinnamon.


(all that time with you I happened

subdue myself to coral.)


If we made love again, we’d make a

blasted orange. Yes, I’ll avoid the

sun as it reminds me of colors

that don’t exist anymore without you.

If you and I were colors it seems

we are inky, moonless, an onyx

starless sky of jet-black nighttime.


The womb inside of you
creates a light that
charges up the sun.
Waves of emotion, ungulate
at your cosmic core.
Such movement guides
each of the seven seas
through any given estuary.
The blink of your eyes
snaps daylight into dusk,
you are not my Mother Earth
but I would spend my
last coin on you. (Your
fire is necessary here.)
Her feet dance to the
rhythm of a bird’s song,
as after all she does
have wings. Gilded,
she floats above cruelty
as she challenges conformity.
Your essence is open like

an outdoor street market;
your soul is the
peach and fig vendor
at the end of the queue.
Careful woman, be wary
of thieves and beggars.
I will rescue you
each time,
because your love writes nature.

Instruction For A Jaded Lover
We ought to lay down together
looking up at the skies-
the only proper way to see a thing.
Humid atmospheres allowing
cloudy heavens permitting
if every galaxy or Milky Way
breathes into your lungs tonight
then, look up!
You will read from the
other-worlds, the poem of
my soul:

(here it goes)

“Let me love you in all ways
and in return
protect my heart
from the evils of my mind
Soften the jagged jukebox
memories playing songs
about my torn and tricky
Adorn me, as you are the
star on top of my
Christmas morning tree.
Read and re-read me.”


I Am Not A Missing Woman Part 1

Back pocket pastime
your all-American
Except for when I’m not.
Yet they probe, pull, shake,
then blend, and yet I am
neither your elixir nor your
fountain of youth.
I am not that distant
cousin’s duplicate birthday gift
that you forge an insincere
thank-you-note toward.

I cannot be re-gifted.
I am not missing.
I am not lost.
I am not your refrigerated
leftovers from a potluck dinner
you lost your appetite at.
I am the tablecloth to you
but to me I am every fork and knife.
I may at times be a coupon
because I give more than I get,
but I have never been a bargain
bin, a discounted secondhand
version of an already
marked down clearance rack.


I Am Not A Missing Woman Part 2

I am the sugar in your coffee.
If you drink yours black now
then I am the acid in your guts-
punching the walls
of your intestines
until you know that
I jump rope
with your nervous system.
Take me not in huge gulps-
I will not
rescue you when you choke.
I am not missing.
I am not lost.
To you I’m not a Mona Lisa.
Yet I am the canvas the
drying paint calls home.
To you I may be a door
in which you freely pass
my threshold. No doubt
I am not that door at all,
rather, I am the deadbolt lock
you ran your fingers over
and trusted to contain you.

Historians and scientists
slow dance every evening
and it is here where they write
the nature that crafted
your body’s meaning.
Sharing whispers to configure
theories, testing and reflecting
on how it is your body came to be.
Certainly they debate
and hypothesize fondly on
its greatness later on over tea.

NatureMan Pt. 2

I have no religion but I

pray to the atmospheres
inside of you,
within the galaxies of
personalities you harbor
under golden armories.

I’d watch and re-watch your
comedies and tragedies,
acting as the starlet
of your
science-fiction fantasies.
You are the author
of wilderness,

the prodigal son
of time travel,
the Peter Pan of planet
my otherworld
nature man.



cmleather is a Miami, FL native. She choreographs dance works, writes poems, and loves to read about feminism, art, culture, and mystery. She is an lgbtq+ and feminist ally / activist. She hopes to continue to publish her poetry and dance works later this year. One day, she hopes to be a Librarian or Professor. cmleather would not be who she is without music or coffee.

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