Persistent Stories

of bodies crossing borderlines engorge the pitch of soundbites, and colonize revolutions in our blender. The camera distills their movements as new residents in the prison system of prejudice, incarcerated in speech fat with lists of violations that define a continent, a race of sensibilities. These migrants are repositories of endless pathways carved by riddles that deflect air from the cruelty of threats and menace. It’s like a scene from yesterday’s political thriller sometimes, exiled from ambitious production values that slurp attention the way we empty the blender with mild interest.

The intimate faces of departures must fill these travelers with apparitions, visions of return, and schemes to bury alienation in myths of another flag, to tease out morsels of permanence. But for now, home is the wear and tear of clothing and determination, trapped in doubts storming over the Mediterranean of somewhere and elsewhere. The luxury of sitting on living room sofa in a gated compound, accruing information nonchalantly about events miles away, reaffirms the caliber and arrogance of layered borderlines, real and imagined.

Each night, questions punctuate the sincerity of prayers. They bind our hands with our children, and simulate steeples to demonise the energies of fiction burdened with questions whom we are praying to. And then, the interlude, the silence after amens so amenable to the appearance of peace beyond our bedroom down the hill, sprawled into a basin of lights, as though stars prefer rigid gridlines to rest on, against a topology of darkness conducive to restless balls of fire.

Michael Caylo-Baradi lives in California. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blue Fifth Review, Blue Print Review, The Common, Eclectica, Eunoia Review, FORTH, Galatea Resurrects, Ink Sweat & Tears, Local Nomad, MiPOesias, Otoliths, Our Own Voice, poeticdiversity, Philippines Free Press, Poetry Pacific, Prick of the Spindle, and elsewhere. He has written reviews for New Pages and The Latin American Review of Books, and is an alumnus of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY).

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