Epistle for Vallejo’s Singular Alarm
by Sean J Mahoney

Vallejo, restless, stirs on the anvil of tears.
Many have heard you and seen your nails stuck
in walls. Many unsafe serve as titular display.

Fingers itch for the well coined, for hair 
triggers and assurances of shared prosperity. 
Over vineyard runs pruned and others not 

just yet, this is modern art stitched and 
tailored to a spectrum of suits. Commodity. 
Preemptive. Extraordinary. This the gauge.

Vallejo, in the split second it takes to render
such damage I know the target of the professional 
breeze. And it is not you this time. You are dead 

and you cannot write or prophetize to anyone.
Spread your skinny dead arms for those who
will grieve, for the feathers that were once Grebes

waking innocents with warbled alarm. Spread 
your arms now and collect the pieces. The table 
has been set with scars and wailing zones. 
Are you making lists, tying bits of proof—
teeth, outcast shadows, inscribed shrapnel—
into the threads of hair still locked 

to your skull? Are you mad? You died hunted
in the nests of ballistic birds, in the tissues 
of exploded stars. Sit down. I will feed you 

for there is no one else left awake. None
will come to the table until the lights go out,
until all the glitter falls. There will be bread, 

boiled eggs, and fruit to stomach. Cesar, 
there will be. But not just yet.

Sean J Mahoney lives with his wife, her mother, two Uglydolls, and three dogs in Santa Ana, California. He works in geophysics. He believes in salsa, dark chocolate, and CBD. He believes that Judas was a way better singer than Jesus and that diatomaceous earth is a not well known enough gardening marvel. Sean helped create to the Disability Literature Consortium (www.dislitconsortium.wordpress.com) and co-edited the 3 existing volumes of the MS benefit anthology Something On Our Minds.

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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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