I see some traces of myself on-screen,
splintered into emotions with different faces,
           a theater of me, now in the minds of other

viewers and eyes, in this dark room. How are
these eyes attached to those images, large,
           saturated in color, commanding attention,

non-interactive, and self-centered? Behind the
faces and emotions up there, I see buildings,
           massive structures, glossy landmarks,

identical to other cities in other movie-shows,
spaces desperate for something to be known
           for, something visual to be included in

tourist guides. The camera then takes the
emotions for a wild ride, on the road,
           to angular streets leading to a labyrinth of

bodies, shops, alleys, traffic jams, a spectacle
of movement and stasis, under a vibrant
           sun. Then the movie takes me deeper,

into scenes I do not have to believe are real, which
is nothing new, of course, just basic religion;
           you look for, the spectacle that counts, inside.


He sees him on the mirror’s gloss,
not in it. Above is a solitary

light-bulb that stretches shadows
under his eyes. He walks away from

the light, from the gloss, and follows
his shadows. The light was never

turned off, but would slowly expire,
weeks later, when listless spiders and ants

see the probabilities of this once glossy
surface, now veiled with fresh dusts.

Then they crawl towards other invitations,
holding on to the rest they cannot

leave behind, as though looking for
shadows to breath in and live for.

Michael Caylo-Baradi works in Southern California.
His work has appeared or is forthcoming in
Zygote in My Coffee, elimae, and XCP: Streetnotes.

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