Will Cordeiro

Two poems from Will Cordeiro’s Self-Guided Tours Through Intemperate Weather

followed by a note on the author

Brevity of Life

after Quevedo

So, yesterday’s a dream; tomorrow’s earth.
Before, one’s nothing; and then after, smoke.
I’m just a point inside a circle, choking,
for all presumptions of ambitious worth.

Brief combat in a war in which I’m hurried
off. In my defense, I’m dangerous. I’m haughty.
My arms consume myself, and soon my body
no longer plays the host—it’s where I’m buried.

Yesterday is gone; tomorrow hasn’t come.
Today—it is, it was, then heedless age
would throw me off its cliff, incognizant.

The hours I had in spades are spades that plumb
each day’s harsh soil for my soul’s hard wage.
Moments raze my life to raise its monument.



Four Sisters

after Mikhail Kuzmin

We were four sisters, sisters four—
each loved someone, and each one for
a different reason: parents said so, one;
and two, because her beau had money.
Who loved an artist’s fame was three,
but loved because I fell in love, that’s me.

We were four sisters; four were we,
each longing for her separate needs.
One wished for children, cooking porridge;
another hoped for bright new pinafores.
And three, to be the town’s foremost concern.
I wanted love and to be loved in turn.



Will Cordeiro has work published or forthcoming in 32 Poems, AGNI, Bennington Review, Penn Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Will won the 2019 Able Muse Book Award for Trap Street. Will is also coauthor of Experimental Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury, 2024). Will coedits Eggtooth Editions and currently lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.