Poetry Issue 21


Carlos Quijon, Jr.

Object Lessons


I love how photographs miss the point. I love it when, instead of P—’s profile, I capture him looking past me, past the camera’s lenses, as if in the intensity of my attention—forlorn—I called to him, please look at me, and in a moment’s agitation, P— mishears my voice from a distance. I mistook the glint from the dead insect as an animal’s menacing eye. My insect stays still, it is dead. It has been quite a while from the last time I saw a dead animal. My cranes are mechanical, they are dead. I saw a dead man by the highway last month. I was on a bus, stuck in traffic. A crowd has already gathered around him, like flies to a wound. For our first month together, R— got me dead butterflies pinned to a bed of wax. We had the sweetest cat in our former home, every morning we found a dead rat at our door. I have never seen my dad dead. I just know he is buried somewhere.


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