Michael Caylo-Baradi

Prelude to Act I

The room is displaced in objects begging
for his attention, a remnant of mood

and body language from the night before.
The cup on the table is a receptacle of

loose verbs encoded on lipstick resting near
the handle. Its color flirts for plans to

call her, harass her reality with invitations,
for more time together. Then, the cavalry

of adjectives about her that passed
his thoughts surprised him, as though

he is resurrecting a princess from
picture-books many years ago, and he is

the prince who saves her from a curse
that often paints an affliction

in tales desperate for fairies and
godmothers to ensure a satisfying

ending. Sitting there staring at the cup,
he imagines her phone ringing

over and over again, looping back
and forth around objects

in his room, braving for the inevitable,
for whatever answer that might blow

through the fortress of charm
and a bit of wit that holds his pride

We used to ditch class

We remember the animals. They unlocked a cage of memories about a neighbor who loved to give parties in August. The architecture of his house still overwhelms her, like a mausoleum of clean, slick lines, erected for loneliness and solitude, unhinged from public life, except perhaps for creatures like her. She has a face and body that unfolds money into adornments, things that glitter and flatter without guilt. The expensive hat that wears her is not an affectation anymore. The way she describes Paris, her new Audi, and investments in China feels like an admonition for people who never made something out of their lives. She once sent me a picture near the Eiffel, all smiles and happiness with her man. The beauty about the picture is that I can enlarge and frame it without the couple in it. She never knew how the zebra, tiger and lion gold-hairpins disappeared from her dresser when we were sixteen, souvenirs from the slick heat of August she never talked about back then.

Michael Caylo-Baradi lives in California. His digital collages and poetry have appeared in other issues of Otoliths. But you may also find his work in Blue Fifth Review , Blue Print Review , The Common, Eclectica, elimae, Galatea Resurrects, Ink Sweat & Tears, Local Nomad, MiPOesias, New Pages, Our Own Voice, poeticdiversity , Poetry Pacific, Prick of the Spindle, XCP: Streetnotes, Zygote in My Coffee , and elsewhere. He is an alumnus of The Writers' Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY).
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home