Shawn Anto

Portrait of Prescribed Time

blessed we are again in this transference.

I don’t think     you realize     how paralyzed     you’ve become.

this delicate evasion     this fragile acknowledgement of pain, straddles truth & smothers and if we get one more moment right here, you must ask me why this certainty of a possible future of us threads into your lamentation, I just want an echo.

we cannot polish the light of our errors, we refused a sight, a contemplation of you and I, just these walls between us, why can’t I be more flexible, the rigidity of my hand to yours, what curse has gone over this love, moving through a darkness, a pattern dreadful & void-blue.

A voice is a storm     and I’m afraid        we were born mutilated of our names
I just want           you     bathed in time           purpose washing us against shattered light

you repeat we are at an end, it will be this way, since day one you ask me to do this and that and I cannot grasp a minute to understand the eyes of the world or the way a flicker of flame smokes itself out, the threads come together and static pulls me a link to what we new

I want you        friend   I           want you here

must the colors blanket themselves in nothing, but words, this deserves more gold than it has been given, enough of these moons, covering a light we knew between each other.


The eyes focus on misunderstood things.
Keep beckoning me toward the dark.

Admit it—there is a selfishness aging in your abdomen
You wanted the collapse almost as much as a hungering.

Brick walls will not keep you out
Stories unfold, lay the cement down.

This was not years ago, but look at the cracked walls smile
Listen to a waking home distract itself—a beautiful note erasure.

What’s gone & softened still strangles time in a field
Look toward the light—glimmering nuisance on the bone.

Every wall coded is your worst fear of us dissolved
You say to let go, but this is not who I am

Who I am maintains each foundation with stubborn dignity
Rummaging through each ruin finding pieces

To put back together every reckless destruction
You gathered fragments and tell me to breathe

Come inside
look at all this potential

The Iris

ways to see a thing, beneath light
cut down into harmful glow, blood-line pupil void
with wishful thinking, cannot ignore a poignant
stabbing force of lie
between us between the world, look behind the radiance
see the storm of
fantasy, gashed-out of our eyes
cut from the time we grew our laughs
into a slit throat, a drizzling pulse
and spill of the world
against our brown bodies

Shawn Anto is 23 years old from Bakersfield, California. He’s originally from Kerala, India. He currently studies at Cal State Bakersfield looking to receive his B.A. in English & Theatre. His writing has been featured or are forthcoming in The Paragon Press, Edify Fiction, Susan/The Journal, Internet Void, Ink & Voices, Harbinger Asylum and Mojave Heart Review.

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