Time Lapse Photography
by Sergio Ortiz

I hear you come and go 
in my dreams 
and in cloudy camphor windows.
I hear you when I hear other steps 
down the corridor, other voices 
that aren’t yours. I recognize your worn 
amaranth and feather hands,
here, on the shore of your wasteland.

We were to meet but you didn't show up.
An ocean more powerful than night 
seized you in its hands like a scattered flower.

Your photograph looks at me from where 
you are not, from where I do not know you,
from where everything is a lie 
you leave your eyes to look at me.

For reasons, I don’t seem to grasp 
you've gone on a trip,
and it's like you've never been here,
you’re just―so soon―one of those stories 
some old maid told me in the kitchen.

The things that speak of you lie,
your last face lied to me as I leaned over it,
because it wasn’t you. I was embracing 
that which the infinite removed 
little by little.
Sergio A. Ortiz is a bipolar, gay, Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He writes in English and Spanish. He is a two time Pushcart nominee, a four time Best of the Web nominee and a 2017 Bets of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared in The Acentos Review, Ink Sweat and Tears, and a great number of other literary journals.
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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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