Poetry Issue 21

ISSUE 21 : JANUARY-JUNE 2015

Carlos Quijon, Jr.

Object Lessons

6.

How do you understand what you perceive? I understand the rat’s skull inside the vitrine concomitantly. I understand the stove sincerely. In the middle of a conversation once, R— stopped me, bent down and picked up a snail’s shell. I understand the shell reluctantly. From Latin, reluctari—“struggling against.” There are many things I understand reluctantly: soap, the amber light signifying slow down, kisses on the forehead, reluctance itself. I feel objects are always reluctant. R— held on to the shell, periodically putting it beside his ear, fingering its hollow inside, until, at the terminal, he decided I keep it. Please keep it as a charm, he said.

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