Encased by Dawn Angelicca Barcelona

The crooked walls were enamored
with the way guitars are lined up,
barely touching the graying tiles
of the floor, held in a palm
made of metal, keeping them all upright.

The laboring hands that made this scene
had previously known nothing else
but the fury of a metal hammer.
The beat of the master’s drum,
the reverberations whole and numb.
The process feels the same.

This was something else.

Patterns re-emerge and paint
details of another life:
The frail gestures are remembered;
castles made by children’s play
their hands not strong enough for sand
or waves–
Inevitably, the colliding images
wash away in succession,
like pills down her throat.
The pure pleasure of
pinching pills into
their separate parts.

This would be the third cycle;
the addiction still lasts.
She wants to tie herself up
by the strings of the guitar,
stay there until the summer
that will turn into a fall.

The laboring hands remember
hearing the words:
“There is no reward tonight.”
Tonight, these hands will clean
the walls. The floor always gets dirty.

The next season brings descent:
the buried seeds of winter,
worms crawling through her skin
sensations worth keeping in her mouth.

Bio: Dawn Angelicca Barcelona is a New Jersey born-and-bred poet who graduated from Rutgers University in 2014. Her English honors thesis on Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee inspired her to live and work in South Korea for two years where she worked for The Fulbright Program, teaching English to elementary school students and serving as the Editor-in-Chief of The Fulbright Korea Infusion literary magazine. Now back in the U.S., Dawn continues to write poetry and works on the talent team at MuleSoft in San Francisco.

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