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11: Joshua Garcia

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Epistle (Deluge)

by Joshua Garcia

I too find myself peering into windows at dusk, catching glimpses
of the little worlds illuminated inside, boxed-up alternatives

to the wandering that wears the soles of my feet. Last night a friend asked me,
What is the difference between building walls and setting boundaries?

I think it’s something to do with a sealing off versus a conversation or an allowance
for breath. This morning my phone tells me James, 52, viewed my profile

6 hours ago from Charlotte, NC, and it strikes me that while I slept
he must have held my face in his hands, glowing under his inevitable judgment.

I don’t know what these windows offer me except for parameters
in which all my fears may safely exist, looking back at me from corners

I can trace with my fingers. You wrote that you try not to spend all your time
looking for pain, but I have found it and cannot look away.

Do you ever see a rainbow and wonder if it really is a promise
that we will not be destroyed? I have been trying to make this promise to myself,

but maybe condemnation and preservation arc their backs together
like different stripes of the same bow: the flood, the quieted bleats

of all those animals, an olive branch, Noah’s pale flesh blossoming
under the eyes of a younger man. I have been asking myself

whether I still believe in God, and though I don’t have an answer,
I remember the moment the question first formed, sounding

inside me like a firework cracking in the distance, opening like a pocket of air
rising to the water’s surface to meet more of itself.

Copyright © 2024 by Joshua Garcia. This poem was originally published in New South and appears in his new collection Pentimento (2024).

About the Author

Joshua GarciaJoshua Garcia is the author of Pentimento (Black Lawrence Press 2024). His poetry has appeared in Ecotone, The Georgia Review, Passages North, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the College of Charleston and has received a Stadler Fellowship from Bucknell University and an Emerge—Surface—Be Fellowship from The Poetry Project. He lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.

Queer Poem a Day graphic

Queer Poem a Day

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Sharp Minor by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

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