Paisano Poets

Illustration by Alex Hanks

Illustration by Alex Hanks

Ana Cecilia Martinez, Managing Editor




i lost it on a tuesday night.

it, i thought, being my hair tie

or one of the dozens of lip balms I misplace everyday.

it could have been the jokes you sometimes laughed at,

or the smiles i snuck every time we shared a similar thought.

i thought i might have lost the independence,

the freedom i fought uphill battles to gain.


i didn’t realize i had lost my footing on reality.

i jumped in heart first, expecting the mountain we were climbing to be stable.

my hopes, defying my logic, convinced me to tread with no caution.

you knew i was a force unrivaled when my heart was over my head

and you knew i was in no place to lose my grounding,

but you pushed and i fell on and over the heart you had no respect for.

i didn’t realize i lost the tug of war for respect that you always let me win.

you let me believe you would stay longer than you did.


i thought i lost you; you in all your inglorious cowardness.

i thought i lost the nights we drank our sorrows away.

i thought i lost the ability to feel and be stable.

i didn’t realize it was never a win-lose fight.

i didn’t realize it was never a fight at all.

i gained a life’s worth of what-ifs that i replaced with thank-gods.