In the Age of Innocence,

I’m partial to the beauty of the city, each time
you muscle me with tales mustering us

into a glow faint as distant stars. We restore tears
in this sanctum, and use the body to weep,

and sweat into beads, into rosaries, into sorrows
and lamentations. We kneel for the

satisfaction of prayers here, and engorge our
throats with mutinies against shadows

that curve dreams into the clarity of streetlights.
Then, we slang midnights around vowels

and code them with conditions glammed up for
a kaleidoscope of addictions. But never

forget I gave you the power of porn, to help you
find yourself, balling for roomier positions

in the neon caves of gluttony. You are still a child
in the logic of dissonance accruing acres of skin.

You do not have the grace of animals yet. You
gobble up surrender, the way religions crucify their myths.

Michael Caylo-Baradi lives where freeways drive over faultlines. His work has discoed or is about to hustle and tango in these venues: The Galway Review, Blue Fifth Review, Bombus Press, The Common, Eclectica, elimae, Eunoia Review, FORTH, Ink Sweat & Tears, Local Nomad, MiPOesias, Otoliths, Our Own Voice, poeticdiversity, and elsewhere. He has penned and penciled reviews and essays for New Pages, PopMatters, and The Latin American Review of Books. He is also an alumnus of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY).

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