The literati mafia

He puts his arm around my shoulders,

My stomach flutters, feeling sixteen,

I keep the whisper locked inside my heart,

So people won’t steal him from me,

As they’re wont to do.

Yet my emotional needs aren’t as important,

I’m not looking for everlasting love,

We’re living in Salem and the fire burns hot,

Everyone’s ready to sin in the nighttime,

The sun hides our secrets, consequences forgotten,

We live in the nighttime where innocence goes to die.

So I don’t know what I want,

And I don’t know what I need,

All I know is what my heart tells me,

But I never learned how to trust it.

© Richela Rosales Maroto 2018

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Romeo’s Devotion

We were never meant to be,
I know that truer then the poison flooding my veins,
I will never see her at the doors of Heaven,
If that is indeed where I am heading,
They’ve promised me I’d feel Hell’s fire lick my skin,
Torture me into the repentance I never sought,
And continue to torture me until that fire is all I know,
But no fire burns hotter than the hatred of humans.

My heart beat for many and now stops for one,
I swore to give my name to all of them,
Even the one who could never wear it,
A child too young to know that if you fight for love,
You must be just as prepared to lose as to win,
That willingness to die is not enough,
It takes all you’ll ever have to give.

And all I gave was the blood of others
On the cobble of a city that has already seen too much,
All I gave was my body and my life as if that were enough,
As if those were the only things worthy of her,
A love I robbed from a stranger but never felt,
I live on in the memory of millions for my foolishness.

And the weak still think it was for love.

Shiny Things

The literati mafia

Shiny things.

Sparkles and glitter and gold,
Lust so fierce my blood is boiling,
I’m in our island of origin and all I want is an apple,
But we’re all students of Darwin, survival of the fittest,
The first one there gets the sweetest sin;
This was never the land of opportunity.

But it’s okay, I’m only human,
It’s okay, life goes on,
Until it’s over and then it won’t matter,
Seconds shared in the dead of night
Become meaningless under the weight of time,
And I don’t care, or at least I shouldn’t,
I can’t steal her feelings from her,
I don’t know where she keeps them
Or if they even really exist.

But shiny things.

Damned because I want them,
Tell me where I can sell my soul,
But my heart is frugal and soft as ice,
I look before I step and that slows me down ,

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Siren Call

The literati mafia

If the sun rose in the west

and set in the east,

Would I still light up your world?

If penguins marched in the north

and elves made toys in the south,

Would I still be your north star?

If I move a world away,

Will yours still turn for me?

I want you to dream of me

with eyes wide open,

I want you to give me

all I couldn’t give you.

Because I’m your siren, love,

Not your faithless wife,

And I don’t get the happy ending,

Just the sordid middle.

But I won’t go down without a fight.

© Richela Rosales Maroto 2018

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First Time


It was the heart of summer
When I felt it for the first time,
We were sitting on a park bench
Letting the hours bleed together,
Pretending time was standing still for us,
I was shaky with desire I didn’t know I could feel
And too young to know that that wasn’t love.

I can’t tell you what he was feeling that night,
I’m not sure it really matters,
I just remember how intoxicating it was,
To know that somebody wanted me,
And maybe it’s a bit embarrassing to admit
That my vanity is my best lubricant.

A few years later I sat in a stranger’s flat,
A little less naive and a little more easy,
Trying to will myself toward modesty,
But not finding an use for it,
And I’m still not sure he wanted me,
In retrospect I didn’t want him,
But I let him spread my legs open,
And when he looked in my eyes
I shut them closed and turned my head,
Because he could have my body
But everything else was mine
And I wasn’t ready to share.

I never regretted what happened,
But I hated seeing myself for the first time,
Knowing that in that second,
Every secret fear had been validated,
Apparently I knew how to be vulnerable,
But didn’t know how to let others see,
And my stomach felt hollow
With a want that sex could never fill,
Because I craved an intimacy
I didn’t know how to feel.

It was the eve of spring
When I felt it for the first time,
Cheeks flushed like I was a schoolgirl,
Teeth shaking with the sweetness
Of everything I wanted to say to her,
When she brushed my cheek with her hand,
Something burst open inside me,
A feeling I’d only ever felt during sex,
And instead of hiding from it
I pulled her in outside of my building,
Let her look in my eyes after she kissed me,
Fully clothed but bared open for the very first time.

And it’s crazy to think now,
That she’ll never know how important she is to me,
Because I didn’t have to be scared anymore
That I was too broken to feel,
Everything everyone seemed to find with ease,
Was just a little bit farther for me but still a possibility,
And one day I’ll find someone I’m able to love,
Without feeling like I’m only reflecting their feelings,
Something that won’t pass the moment they’re gone,
Something I wasn’t able to give to anyone else.


Give Me a Reason

The literati mafia

Crawling through the gravel
on hands and knees, blood
staining my skin so that
everyone can see that
tragedy leaves a mark,
(So does betrayal),
And when it starts raining
I feel my skin dissolving,
Mixing with the sediment,
Making soil that will never
nourish, crops will grow already
rotting, because everything
That mattered has gone and died,
I have nothing left to give.

But that’s not enough for you,
The ever expanding sun wouldn’t
be enough for you, every single
star that ever was and ever
will be wouldn’t even make a dent,
But I tried, I fucking tried,
Knowing the laws of physics
I tried to change gravity for you,
Tried to get the galaxies to
revolve around you as I knew
they always should, since
that was always my place
in this big, vast universe.

Nothing left to give for the girl
who expects angels to praise…

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Cold World


Lock the door, turn of the lights.

If no one can see it’s like they’re not here.

Trauma exists so far away from your home,
How can you be sure it actually exists?

People get served all they can bear,
You read it in a book once so it must be true,
And karma is always a factor too,
So maybe they deserve it, who’s to know?

But what if I tell you we’re guilty of the same crimes?
What if I tell you I see the blood on your hands?
What if I tell you I never believed your platitudes?

Cast me out to sea with the rest you condemn,
For nothing, for existing, for not being you.

I’ve not seen my family for six years
So who the hell are you to patronize me?

Yeah, this is a cold, cold world,
But you’ve never even lit a match,
So don’t tell me you actually care.