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1 poem
by Dominic Calderon

Dominic Calderon is a writer & filmmaker. He is working on a poetry collection titled hellhole ratrace. Selected work is available to view at He worships the devil.

absolute beginners


do you remember how it felt to see a leaf for the first time? green, as in the drowning light of circle k as we bought as much pills as we could find. beige, like the collar of the coat you wore as you returned from the sky. olive, as in the way your eyes look in the beerlight. yellow, like the petals of the flower we left on your dashboard.

let’s pretend it’s snowing. we’ll put on new faces. you can be the pretty one, i’ll wear the skirt. the lake will freeze over & i’ll guide your palm along the ice. i’ll have no idea what i’m doing but i’ll do it to look cool. you’ll understand this & we’ll chop vegetables until the roses thaw, together

what if i told you that a bougainvillea in the sun can be just as beautiful as smoke over an iris? or what if i said: the space between my fingers is cold or maybe: i’d like you to write me a letter because i love the way your handwriting looks. would you?

i need someone to take me to a golden day. i need someone to break my fall. of course i’d rather convey these words through eyes across the room than lit matches & gasoline, but we do as we must.

i wonder if it’s lonely to be a radio dj at night? all of those records with no one to play them for. sometimes i imagine mother’s in their cars. the grey of their crowns dying slowly, waiting for the words:

a love whose burning light / will warm the winter night. that’s all. that’s all.

an essayist once said that green is the saddest color of all. unlike blue it’s bastardized, flawed, stained by the mistakes of yellow.

the sky was purple today so i sang a song:

i don’t care if you really care, as long as you don’t go. i’ll dye my hair. i’ll paint my nails. i’ll do anything you want me to.

at night i like to pretend i’m lilac, the shade of heaven, but i know that’s a lie. i’m sorry my right eyelid is uglier than my left.  i’m sorry i told you i loved you at not exactly the right time. i touch the fire & it freezes. our shadows fade into yesterday’s earth. there is so much to forget but all i want is fire. we’re young, too stupid to know where the sun sets. i’m sorry it looks more yellow than orange. you know i would change it if i could.

in the snow we wear matching coats & look each other in the eyes. there’s gum in our hair & dust in our hearts. they stare at us too intently to not be aware of us. it doesn’t matter.

how real is it? not very, but it’s a nice dream, and for now let’s pretend it’s snowing

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