3 Poems by Alexandra Martinez

Green and red abstract painting by Kjell Hansen


The California Current System is a climate system that extends from the Pacific
over the coast over the range over the grasslands over the sierras
It provides moisture life to 85% of the Redwood forest floor
It is rapidly disappearing being disappeared

So far in 2019 I’ve seen a rosy boa in a rock outcropping
a rattlesnake in high, dry grass a garter snake in chaparral
a ball python wrapped around a girl’s arm outside of Walmart

California Condor

I saw a headline that read “the condors are back in California!”
and under that someone said,
“Great, just what 2020 needed!”

As if
the condors are the ones
stealing people’s babies from their beds
creeping up behind young women on the streets and telling them,

All the power in the world is mine and because of that so are you

As if
the condors are the ones
stepping out of vehicles so self-assured that the only thing they need to say is
and proceed to shoot bullets into a human body

This type of vulture will take a knee when a news camera is around.
In every one of these videos the vulture turns and smiles and everybody claps because it is
such a nice condor.
But there are other videos, we all know.

Tonight, we slept outside and looked at the stars.
We silently watched as
a giant bird shadowed in black
circled slowly overhead.
I prayed it was a real condor.

Absolutely Curtains

when this is all over me and Gabrielle will sit in a booth at Dan Tana’s
stir cocktails, practically dunk our hands in the icy alcohol
with greediness for belonging
the ancient bartender will be there even though he is now dead
Harry Dean Stanton will be there even though he’s been dead
basically, everyone will be there whether dead or not
Dan Tana’s will become the official in between spot
The IT place it’s always been
people will drive by and see nothing but shuttered windows,
know nothing of the joyous mess being made inside

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Alexandra Martinez is a pie baker and poet living in the tumbleweeds of Southern California. You can find her on Instagram @alxndramartinez or Twitter @mexicanpiggybnk.

Kjell K Nkanza Hansen is a musician and visual artist from Maryland. They’re the producer and multi-instrumentalist behind queer metal project Spring Silver. They have a BFA in Visual Arts from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Follow them on Twitter @KjellKHansen1.