“Sonnet for Thunder Lovers and Primary Colors” by Brenda Cárdenas

Brenda Cárdenas


When Sweet Nothings Just Don’t Cut It

You’re more than soda fizz, than sparklers lit
for kids at play, than fireflies’ flit in sky.
You spin around my heart and up my thigh
with the whistle and boom of a bottle rocket.
Baby, those other jugglers’ gigolo tricks—
magician’s spell and mime’s unspoken sigh—
don’t turn my head, don’t catch my ear or eye,
but your mercury rolls in my hip pocket.

Some women like the subtle hints, require
a pastel touch, a whispered cry and blush,
but not me; I am all hyperbole.
Your howls of red, your strokes of green sapphire,
your cayenne kiss, serrano pepper rush
from lip to nape of knee will do for me.

from Rattle #12, Winter 1999
Tribute to Latino/Chicano Poets


Brenda Cárdenas: “Few books inhabited my childhood home—a dictionary, the Bible, a few encyclopedias—however, I grew up listening to an aunt, grandfather, and grandmother tell vivid stories of dancing horses, hangings, and flights form their pueblos during the Mexican Revolution or drinking at speakeasies during prohibition in the U.S.” (web)

Rattle Logo