To evolve is to hurt

Shedding soft uncalloused 

skin, bruised and sunburnt,

in place of graphene 

armor, breaking brittle

bones in place of stainless 

steel, resilient, impregnable.  

An eagle, upon reaching maturity,

must mutilate its gnarled beak,

days of agony, excruciating pain,

or die of starvation. 

To evolve is to bleed

Purging the body of

toxins, pulping gashes

of raw skin as rancid 

blood drips out, reopening 

healed wounds, uncovering 

cancer still lingering, metastasis 

slowly eating away at 

your sanity, 

spitting in the face 

of personal growth,

diseases uncured, cauterizing 

the skin to stop the bleeding.

To evolve is to know pain

a steady surrender into 

one’s basest form, 

shovel and spade digging 

through mounds of 

dirt, exhumed 

skeletons, trauma clinging 

to your foundation 

like rotten roots. 

To evolve is to begin again

Starting from Zero, build 

anew, on the ground where

your stunted spine grew 

gnarled, contorted. 

To rip out overgrown 

weeds, fill the void that 

bore your addiction, discard 

rotted fruits, making 

space for new seeds.

Seeds to your salvation,

seeds to your evolution, 

seeds to your reincarnation,

seeds to another you.

A thin veil


you’re a gossamer caress

away from crossing over,

piercing the veil between

the physical and mystical

worlds, senses suspended, 

logic long dissolved in

pools of souls, worries

whisked away, doubts

dissolved, the taste of

bile and acid replaced

with sweet lifelessness.


whims of the void push 

you towards eternity, 

rules of life no longer 

valid, a misdiagnosis, 

a moment’s glance away 

from the road, a fish bone 

lodged in your throat, a cough 

you thought was a cold, a pinprick 

from an infected needle, a routine

traffic stop, a chest tightness 

you never got checked out, one 

too many cigarette breaks, a stray 

bullet, a child in the wrong place, a

premature delivery.


the velvety vail of death

is not merciful, no greater

reason that only God

understands, no rhyme in

a higher plan, no reason

other than sheer random

life extinguished, in a moment’s


Sometimes, there are

no answers to your “Why?”

Mauricio Moreno is a 1st generation Colombian-American artist and writer, originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey. He moved to California to fulfill his life mission of being a writer and sharing the stories of others to bring readers closer together and heal the world. His work has been published in Conchas Y Cafe, a Los Angeles-based quarterly zine published by DSTL Arts, and is also featured as part of the Summer Literature exhibition in Intercultural Press. He is currently working on a novel and is also in the process of publishing his first collection of poetry. When he is not writing poetry, he can be found throwing axes at deadwood, being a fur dad, and dissecting governments with his revolutionary wife.

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