B.B.P. Hosmillo is the founding co-editor of Queer Southeast Asia: A Literary Journal of Transgressive Art and a guest poetry editor at Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Anthologized in Bettering American Poetry (2016), he is the author of two forthcoming books, The Essential Ruin and Breed Me: a sentence without a subject; the latter of which will be released in summer 2016 by AJAR Press with Vietnamese translation by Hanoi-based poets Nhã Thuyên and Kaitlin Rees. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Margins (Asian American Writers’ Workshop), Palaver Journal, SAND: Berlin’s English Literary Journal, minor literature[s], Transnational Literature, and elsewhere. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The poem below is part of his new poetry book project called You Cannot Go Back.
the blessed thing: a hieroglyph
—after charles baudelaire
a dream that has eaten you alive although still generous that you are gently sucked
into what seems a dead elevator & unstopped in asking how has this lent face been
so spiritual, so miraculously blushing in this untimed eclipse as though even dark
lets blood & desire? this face espoused appears not to answer. because you can’t
touch it. staying lovely in your mind, that beloved creature refuses to have skin.
is that art? for nothing real has any way of holding it by the neck & make it talk.
unexpectedly a dirty man extends his soiled hand with a photograph to a distance
enough for you to take that which you trust is a lead. you look at it & you can’t trust
what it shows. you eye the man & his dead father, probably from the same grave,
grabs him away into disappearance like some farewell so memorable for its lack
of words, for no attempt to resist, for no disguise of meeting again as if he intuited
you better be left alone & bereft & asking with your mistrust so that you can’t simply
say love has stolen the best of you.