Ren Koppel Torres


his mother marinates him in cookie dough and julieta venegas     he dances folclórico around
the periphery of her uterus    greasy, ungrooved footprints leaving manchas as he goes
        golpe         golpe         golpe

a little bundle of old atoms takes a newer shape

they say that trotsky lived for days after the incident          slender blade poking out of softened
skull like birthday candle                  fue de esta manera that the boy continued forward towards
the ledge, hungry for that revolution permanent                 he dies somewhere beautiful


that is a lie     his arm holds plentiful space for pink bird silhouettes     but the stone has but
space for one more    this is not it        every time his heart contracts he wriggles the

ice pick out of trotsky’s balding head and
the climb


Ren Koppel Torres is a Jewish Chicano teen and the editor-in-chief of Alebrijes Review, a literary magazine dedicated to whimsical, colorful, monstrous art by and for Latinos. Ren served as a member of the inaugural Austin Youth Poet Laureate cohort (2021-2022), working to promote poetry and civic engagement within the Austin community. He currently works as a poetry editor for the interdisciplinary arts collective INKSOUNDS and a Community Events Organizer for the LGBT+ literary magazine the winnow. Named a winner of the 2022-2023 National Poetry Quarterly, Ren’s work is published or forthcoming in diode, TIMBER Journal, Lumiere Review, COUNTERCLOCK, Writer’s Digest, and elsewhere. He is currently writing a soup-themed chapbook of poetry.