Two Poems by Michael Caylo-Baradi

These two poems by Michael Caylo-Baradi meditate on the aleatory attributes of departure in hindsight. Here, one is textured with drama and emotions, while the other presents a still-life of objects soaking up the silence of an abandoned afternoon…

by: Michael Caylo-Baradi


Tell me more about the storms
inside your mouth. 

How many borders
have they crossed? 

Tell me how the mountains 
shaped the words of God

you chewed each day,
begging for the milk

and honey wasted
in another continent. 

I’ve heard of boats 
sinking in the cries

of children, silenced
in the hollows of the moon.

You always dig out bodies
in your voice,

friends you left beside 
a nameless road:

they fill my lungs
with memories

buried in a box
of photographs.

You never fail to name
an ocean

in your dreams,
rising from the height

of errant wars.
They crash on longings

every day, dreaming
to depart,

to breathe the deserts
you have crossed
Silence in the Afternoon

The garden holds 
another afternoon 
gushing from a hose. 

Soon, a cloud of slurs
aborts the presence of a hand 
mapping out its flow. 

This time, the water 
finds its way 
into the driveway,
into the silence 
of the street, beyond 
the corrugations of its skin.


In the house, 
the living room is shaken
by a sound.

The phone insists 
to hear a voice,
the one that filled the air 

some hours ago,
wrestling with the vowels
of another scream.


The wind chimes 
rest into their
usual lullaby. 

The crickets, too, 
will sink the property
in cries, 

to celebrate 
the disappearance 
of the sun

Michael Caylo-Baradi is an alumnus of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY). His work has appeared in The Adirondack Review, Across The Margin, Another Chicago Magazine, Hobart, Kenyon Review, The Common, The Galway Review, The Halo-Halo Review, MiGoZine, PopMatters, New Pages, Ink Sweat & Tears, and elsewhere.  He is the author of Hotel Pacoma (Kelsay Books, 2021), and the Poetry-Reviews Editor of Another Chicago Magazine.

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