[Poetry] Three Poems by Daniela Z. Montes

Cocoxochitl (Dahlias)


Grown from tubular bulbs

to be eaten,

to treat epilepsy

their long hollow stems used as water pipes.

Only their beauty was coveted.

The seeds were taken, cultivated in a foreign land across a wide sea.

They crossed and bred the flowers.

Exploding colors, complex petals, and bigger blooms.

They are mixed now.

Different, yet, somehow the same.

Never will they return to their original form.

So they are torn

between what they were and what they are.

Yet, even now that they are spread around the world,

Dahlias are Mexico’s national flower.


~*~

Nopal (Cactus)


She’s covered in prickles and spines.

Of course, she has to be, after their lies.

She decides to give up

on being just a hookup.

She dresses to the nines

accentuates her spines,

Places a flower on her head

now that the old her is dead.

From who she was before a new person emerged,

one who was healthier and self assured.


~*~

Jacaranda


When she could not longer grow,

she ended their friendship.

With a broken heart,

the witch cursed her.

If she wanted to grow, then she’d grow

taller than the rooftops,

and change with the seasons.

From her feet sprouted roots,

Her torso turned into a willowy trunk.

She was the gem in the witch’s garden

in the summer, purple flowers trumpeted

their wonderful perfume.

When her flowers wilted and fell

they carpeted the floor where she dwelled.

The witch swept and scrubbed, but the sap did not budge.

Revenge is sweet when bitchy witches are coated in flower gel.


Daniela Z. Montes received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of California–Riverside, Palm Desert Low-Residency Program. Her nonfiction horror story, Hellhounds, was published by Kelp Journal. She was The Coachella Review’s social media manager where she published an interview and book review. Daniela received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California–Santa Barbara, where she received an honorable mention in the Kieth E. Vineyard Honorary Scholarship Short Story Contest.