Three Poems / by Taylor Portela

Call Me Claire  

“The pope is visiting. 
Federal workers should treat it like
three snow days, 
the government

But I’m from Michigan: when you
tell me about snow days you should include a trigger
war—I mean content warning—
because snow came in feet, not

He’s obviously gonna let me down, and I can’t take it. 
It’s my inner bottom yelping to be fucked
by the Pope, because I only bottom for hung, holy communists,
and there hasn’t been play like this since
Jesus and I had a one-night-stand in Hell. 
Something about crucifixion and cleansing made it

and even I bet Kim Davis doesn’t count my (ex)Mormonism
as Protestantism, but I’m planning to remain unmarried—
she’ll have nothing to protest. 
She really does know how to make an entrance, or exit, 
and the pope should take

I hope the pope comes dressed in Moschino.  
I hope the three days aren’t filled with plagues or earthquakes or darkness . . . 
or maybe the world will heal itself. The pope’s really into that. 
If I became the earth, I’d get his love;
I doubt he’d care for me much now, fucking
my work from home days in the ass,
calling out his name, “Francis! O, 






Gravitational Wave

Writing to sepia-toned platforms
is like traveling through time, 
and only data
at the
of light.
And what does light even do anymore? 
Trapped to this car, remade from Tokyo’s fumes to Paris’s ruins, 
a brave new hope
shuffles underground,
networks upon networks, meaning
nothing. No passenger, 
arriving in
13 minutes.






In defense of dissonance

The only time my sight
singing class ever paid off
was when we opened our mouths to say goodbye.
Lips touched, teeth vibrated; 
You sang a noise and I matched it flat. 
The waves crashed around us
as all else fell away; descending chromatically,
I was already out to sea, 

                                         and, look! here you were,
alone on the shore, indestructible, enveloped by bitter sounds
you could no longer register.






Taylor Portela is a poet and executive assistant who spends their time dancing their way through Washington, D.C.