Shawn Anto

Lessons on Constancy

Ocean Energy 4 by Gene Kreyd

One: I disinfect bone with this page—I address these memories mental circuits of the past & the present is silver—lined with you, here we are, perpetual moment so present that you open me carve up, carve insides out.

Two: we are no longer astonished by the hills, each hike embraces like 9 sisters or by lava rocking underneath skin & I’m not bound by time, but by you & I swear you roll your sticky idea into my blood, drip like glue and seal yourself in this tethering embrace, effortlessly you and I are in hell with its linearity, scribbled out like our worst secrets.

Three: take heart—tear it out, no regret ripples thoughts, do not neglect any tempered word from dry lips, no matter how erratic one word must be & how you will never see my side & I will always hear the crying bats, whimper their way to darkness through all the places we’ve been located through sonic wince/whine of your love, all the sorrows we’ve seared in our—

Four:  we still answer each other’s calls, texts, spent half-years wandering & disappearing so effortlessly, scouring a world & I never ask why you need me but you do & no matter how far I am from you each echo ping itself through veins, static veins creating & bleeding, bleeds, it bleeds, rippling downpour through time.

Five: every history is a buzzing wasp inside the brain & I muster up the courage to tell you that you’re so comfortable building up walls, crackling with cement & red like brick dusty blood on your heart shed, come crawl & knock-knock, didn’t expect anyone to climb over & surprise—you.

Six: this—this feeling—what is it? Revealing cannot be so easy to guess, quantified over a thought or two, broken down scientifically, how does one pray to slippery God, your presence unrequited & rumbling & I give—without any obligation.

Seven: You don’t owe me anything.

Eight: I’m sorry for silent gathering.

Nine: You said that wall was for a reason, a high-stone reckoning.

Ten: why the hell did you go and break through? I know it’s real, the wound is tender still, the rules grip & it hurts too damn much to be anything else but this constant—remaining breath.


About the writer:
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 is forthcoming in The Paragon Press, Edify Fiction, Susan/The Journal, Internet Void, Ink & Voices and Mojave Heart Review.


Image: Ocean Energy 4 by Gene Kreyd. Mixed media on canvas. 70 x 70 cm. 2017. By permission. Gene Kreyd is the O:JA&L Featured Fine Artist for April 2019.