Written by Cameron Calonzo

Edited by Rodlyn Mae-Banting

We haven’t spoken in this lifetime yet and I haven’t written a poem in forever,

which isn’t to say I don’t miss you; I always do. 

No—I don’t remember you. 

Sometimes I mutter your name under my breath until the tears come 

as I try to keep it from slipping away, drifting further up towards that

firmament, or into the ground beside you. Is it too much to ask for, to someday 

have a meal alone and content, to take that final grain of rice 

for myself instead of saving it for a man who never shows up? 

I feel guilty for wanting to be loved; I think my words are almost as ugly as I am,

until I remember that I have your nose. 

I spread my arms wide and waited for you to fill them, 

to gently nudge them back towards my chest and rest your chin on my

head, but now I feel rather like a martyr, the stigmata to match. 

No wonder I could never stand up straight or cross my T’s properly. 

No wonder I walk through life light-headed. 

When I was younger, I was told that blood is thicker than water, 

the idea drilled into my skull with every 6 p.m. matinee, every song 

on the car radio singing glory of the Father, like I had any clue who you were.

And Mom doesn’t love me anymore, and even if she did, 

she definitely won’t in a year or two. 

I’m not supposed to admit what I dream of anymore. A finger pressed to my lips, someone’s chirp

against my ear: don’t tell or it won’t come true! and I’d think I would’ve lied anyways but I’ll let you

in on all my secrets this time, since the back of your head isn’t whole anymore and they’ll just fall

right back out, red and stained, exposed and oxidizing. 

So, here goes nothing: last night I wore your sweater. 

Not really; that was my dream. Nothing more.

Illustration by Andy Pham
Instagram: @beingofmatter_art

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