Michael Caylo-Baradi


The stars are fading now, against clouds sinking within my reach
They look too far to matter without the storms of your breath
These days, I cannot taste the night anymore. And mornings love
to invade me with the raging pestilence of their light


Somehow my shadow finds comfort in other shadows now. I’m
drenched in murmurs about the fallacies of love and longevity
You used to be my afternoons, cracking me up into colors on the
street, bursting with traffic and children looking for lucidities


As always, I long for the gleam of lamps on the corner: the noise
around them disrupts the sky growing darker. They set the scene
for whatever might punctuate an immensity, the kind you hold that’s
cold, or something you become as you dissolve into sleep

—an earlier version appeared in Bombus Press 

MICHAEL CAYLO-BARADI is an alumnus of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY). His work has appeared in the Hobart, Kenyon Review Online, The Common (Online), Eunoia Review, The Galway Review, Galatea Resurrects, Our Own Voice, Otoliths, PopMatters, New Pages, Ink Sweat & Tears, and elsewhere.

Author’s note: “This poem views the familiar as place, of being sheltered by memories of a place. Here, it’s a street-corner, the skies above it, the traffic, and the children in the neighborhood. Place becomes a hand that touches and shelters you with memories of things that happened, couldn’t have happened, or may happen. To an extent, it is home. But what if the idea of touch is put under duress by a mandate, because of an invisible entity: a virus? The idea inspires feelings of boredom, emptiness, and, certainly, loss; we lose the bounce of words, right beside us, unmediated by social media. The idea alienates a street-corner from the bustle of pedestrians and children, where, at the end of the day, we long for the touch and shelter of its familiar sounds.”

Other work
The Symptoms

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