Michael Caylo-Baradi – Five Poems

submission-photo-for-the-galway-review-caylo-baradi-2Michael Caylo-Baradi‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blue Fifth Review, Bombus Press, The Common, Eastlit, Eclectica, elimae, Eunoia Review, Galatea Resurrects, Ink Sweat & Tears, MiPOesias, Otoliths, Our Own Voice, Poetic Diversity, Poetry Pacific, Prick of the Spindle, and elsewhere. An alumnus of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY), he has also written essays for New Pages, PopMatters, and The Latin American Review of Books (UK).


I join the sound of leaves,
rubbing against

each other’s geometries
in the wind.

Their pointiness resuscitates
fears and echoes

of territories only dreams
can dismember.

Indeed, trees are masters
in taking apart

moonlight, to create a
tapestry of shadows

around footsteps
begging for directions.

I must believe
in the breadcrumbs now,

spurned by tall tales
that usurped me

to pursue this journey,
where moons

transport the lost into
a landscape

of silhouettes,
where soon they might

forget their faces,

or whatever moved them
like falling leaves

attuned to brief moments
of flight


As always, midnights slip through
my fingers, caressing possibilities

on your face. We chart territories
in closed eyes, as though masters

of the dark, prone to choreograph
anonymity, never partial to the laws

of obedience that turn rooms into
a labyrinth of sighs & satisfaction.

Our deserts carry us away from
the authority of light,

too eager to burn our masks &
reveal the details of our faces,

where we store codes and affectations
that guard authenticity

each time we crowd & frame
ourselves in selfies, deleted

over & over again, until a version
of us distills the universe

into giggles. Soon, the interlude
fizzles in our soda drinks,

as we hush the city back to
constellations of information

obsessing us through algorithms
playing god in our mobile devices

It’s the weekend, once again

We follow the road, expand into sky, and
reduce ourselves into possibilities away from
calendars and street-signs. Soon, while holding

my hand, you rev up on superstitions
lining up our palms, amused on myths the way
horizons frame illusions of romantic things.

We missed some exits. Blame it on me.
It’s hard to rest, when clarity is dressed
in skies of blue, a change of fashion

from the usual city-noise that loves to wear
us down in post-it notes around the house,
the sound of metals on the subway platform

of our patience, or inflections in my head
that loop for days and nights wishing
I was man enough last week,

to spill a morsel of my heritage in you.
I hold on hope for that precious one, all angelic
as she or he is drowning us with cries,

or punctuations taller than the ones we banish
in the shadows of our room, where, for a while,
we alienate ourselves from notions of

longevity embedded in a contract we had signed
with smiles and dreams, then sealed in
pronouncements about something until death

The night howls

through a landscape buried in the hush of clouds seeking comfort on hills dressed in ancient trees. The solitary sound reverberates through the edge of leaves, branches, and the mind of other creatures resting on the feel of snowflakes piling volumes of softness and surrender wherever gravity directs the velocity of their descent. Soon, the journey of canine soundwaves appears to join a trail of winds, instigating a set of wings to leave the warmth of branches for nearby trees or other heights amenable to moments of repose and inactivity. The sound could be a howl of portents wearing out a skier, of memories forged around these parts, over time. Hours earlier, a quick and vicious avalanche had pushed his body against a tree, thrusting him into an abyss of unconsciousness. And now, his auditory nerves are triggered by a distant sound, perhaps a muezzin for the usual routine to gather somewhere in this mountain range. Indeed, a state of immobility has colonized most of the sportsman’s body now, although his eyelids have accrued micro-movements within the hour of the howl, approximating moments of waking. But much later, towards midnight, his eyes recognize vague circles before him, noctilucent in their geometries that come in pairs, not distant flashlights or snow-mobiles looking for someone, but eyes, just a meter or two away, moving towards him, closing in on him, for the blood on this face, emitting raw scents to the sensitive nose of fangs.

Flight Destinations

A hail of angels hovers on the margins of a story,
restless for the moral center of its myth.
The sudden disappearance of Malaysian Airlines
Flight 360 from Kuala Lampur to Beijing
less than one-hour after take-off inspired
the most expensive search investigation in
aviation history, mostly around the Indian Ocean
flooding the world with curiosities,
conspiracy theories, and mysteries
festering in nature and the nature of
being human itself.
A glass of milk departs a dining table,
destined for patterns on the floor that hold
a child’s delirious giggles. His tiny
fingers reach for something in the air,
perhaps for other sounds, still oblivious
of maternal patience cleaning up another mess,
another challenge testing single parenthood.
Words of protest scale the heights
of skyscrapers, armed with wit and fire,
before they trump on effigies that
stand for truths attuned to press the press
with accusations so egregious
one has to wonder if they’re coming
from the highest office in a superpower
so suddenly unhinged from savoir-faire
against the powers of the fourth estate.
At the airport, your palm feels warm on mine.
But then, you’re dazed and spaced out
in the firmaments of your thoughts. Later,
you left for the bathroom, close to an hour.
Indeed, the skies look better this time,
wider, despite the clouds.





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