Punctuated Lullaby

Sometimes I write about you into a series of lines around a moon, begging for hints that give bathroom mirrors new ways of unmasking fictions on a face. I see your eyes before each period policing me, telling me to hush already, that there are other things to obsess about, other dark matters to attend to. Exclamation marks take me back to a season of Sundays that once sanctioned us to eliminate our penchants for incompleteness on weekdays, courtesy of our nine-to-five routines and the labyrinth of traffic jams that crucify us into frantic texting. Now what I dread most is not so much the question marks on the page, but the periods turning into a rhythm of three or more successively, moments when I’d rather not look at the window beside me, feasting on fragments of sounds from the street, or critters from the backyard congregating into an accumulation synonymous to heat before the inevitability of momentary rest.

Sometimes I don’t touch my pen for days, and become any random object in my room: I’d
become any song in my headphones longing to sing other songs. I’d become a road in the desk calendar disappearing into a labyrinth of people, colors, and desert skies. Or I’d become a blank page on my computer screen, before expanding into another universe in my closed eyes bound to disintegrate when the mobile takes the cue of algorithms in the morning, to alarm me with an excerpt from a song amused about ancient pyramids and how they usher decomposition into incarnations we breathe like seasons in the unknown.

Michael Caylo-Baradi’s work has appeared​ or is forthcoming​ in The Galway Review, The Common, Eclectica, Bombus Press, elimae, Eunoia Review, FORTH, ​Horn & Ivory, ​Ink Sweat & Tears, ​In the Name of the Voice, ​Local Nomad, MiPOesias, New Pages, Otoliths, Prick of the Spindle, and elsewhere. He is an alumnus of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY).

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