THE SYMPTOMS

  
  
are exhausting. They bleed
endless prayers.

They scar maps, and ratify
calendars under

a cloud of premonitions
and superstitions.

Mirrors avoid us
for another language now:

they summon a memory
of permutations,

when night-doors longed for
bodies without names.

These days, the world breathes
through selfies deleted

over and over again. This is
how we purge dinner-time

with giggles, and reach for
the loudest laugh

we can muster. Perhaps the
hand holding me now

is a set of fingers calling me
from another universe,

as I fall deeper and deeper into
the cracks of your voice

each day, the way autumn falls
slowly from a tree,

as though gravity, indeed, is
the essence of flight

—after Jean Vengua’s “Masked Figure” (2016)

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. 

This poem is for Estella Baradi.

Other work
Prelude to a Quieter Epilogue

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