Gabriel Ojeda-Sague

you can return to masonry / be a gavel



a mug on a dresser acts
tall, I know I’ve
shaken up my head,
a TV in there, silk guitars,
my father lent spells and records
as if they were small
I shot a rattlesnake into loss and grew red


I am giving up asparagus
and lights at the end of pipes
shaping clay into something more
noticeable, I am waking
up in the middle of
the night, face out the mirror, holding
a crucifix like a starfish
I had a dream
and it was half-black air


you can return to masonry
be a gavel
and give up
dominate a log cabin
I lie to myself about passing
information to my brother
through a straw, we look up
at popcorn and stray
a silver coin made spherical
in clay


half-drunk until morning
with two
friends I want
the first sign of snow
then the second


I had a nightmare my
sleep coagulated
in it, my father faked
his dying and my mother
knew, I was uncomfortable
at the carnival where cousins
made shadow puppet


in vampire’s town
inflated Easter
spent with each
other, sharing
stories out of cannons
my father memorized
a cork pipe
and made lentils, then
here, and now,
I’m splitting ribbons


turn the mug over, don’t keep
the ghost curling heat, asking
the question, you ask me instead
did I deliver on my role as a griever
did I grow fur


patchwork dream of temperature
of the young room
I overheard to grow up and
simplified from then on

GABRIEL OJEDA-SAGUE is a Miami -> Philly, Latino, gay Leo. His first collection, Oil and Candle (March 2016, Timeless, Infinite Light), is a set of writings on Santería, war, and the precarity of Latino-American lives. He is also the author of 4 chapbooks, most recently Where Everything is in Halves (Be About It, 2015), poems against death through The Legend of Zelda, and ‘Yo’ Quiere Decir Sunburn (2016), poems of anxious bilingualism. His second full-length book Jazzercise is a Language is forthcoming from The Operating System in 2018. His work can be found at

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