Many thanks to literary editor Mark Cayanan.
Here is a painting I made sometime ago
The occupied seat across an ocean
of tables. The long
walk through asphalt and marble. The page pointing
to part and pathos (the underlined phrase: “palpate prostate
for pain”). The portrait that betrays (“This
resembles ___”). The absence of lights.
The laughter we refused
to sight: far too slight. The song, looping
like some liquid serpent.
Flashlights, old lighter, ink
and pens, photographs (me aged seven, teeth
hidden; old friend who went
away to Ireland, grandmother with her parents
and brother, unknown date; my father
with his father and brother – ) expired
passports (my grandparents’), sequins, toys, sun-
glasses (plain, shaded, pink), bottles, paper (yellowed,
thinning), old letters, notes to self, unopened
envelope (sealed), a deck of cards, flower
brooches made of cloth, greeting
card with dry scotch tape, clipped
paper money, paperclips, hair-
pins, torn piece of birthday wrapper, beads
and faux pearls on a thin wire, unused
movie tickets, journals, empty
balls and jack stones, dusty
picture frames without faces –
I really am cleaning my room. Couldn’t help it. Those are most of the stuff I found. Dusty hands are dusty.