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“Anti-Midnight in The Kingdom of Yes” by Matthew Burnside


Begin with a simple ward like a prayer so beautiful it cannot be spoken aloud, or a corpse so small one could not heap enough dirt to ply her light. Sometimes you would pretend to be the weather station & treat me to a forecast, like expect a mudslide tonight in Toledo, tomorrow there will be snow in Tokyo. We swallowed ourselves in the homecoming parade when we knew home was lost, buried our grace in the sidewalks so only the footfalls might find us. Television sang us to sleep those nights our tongues failed to fetch us our words. Patio chimes tapped out our shame, the dogs yelped our fence had been left open. & your silent face is Mandela music. I’ve never seen anything as sinless as your pale thin wrists―file under Things I Should Have Told You When I Had You Here in the Passenger Seat. There is a cathedral on the far side of town we could spy its steeple from our house. Tomorrow while the children let out from school they’ll tear it down. But how the trees graft themselves to the lake, how the clouds hang from the moon like your memory swings from my chandelier: Remember this landscape, if nothing else, the way I still wrap my stain glass around your sunlight. This is where the ward ends, this is where you say goodbye. This is where you lean in close, pour your poison through my ears, whisper: Of the hundred billion types of light you were my favorite.


About Daniel Romo

Author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press, 2019), When Kerosene's Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). I'm partial to prose poems. Alliteration. And fragments.

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