Dante Sebastian Antonio
Dante Sebastian Antonio (b. 2003) is a musician, writer, and artist. Most of what he’s written consists of short fiction and poetry, but he also loves writing essays and is currently working on his first novel.
Brown-dead leaves nearby,
broken down by the black fence;
their shadows dance still.
Many years ago:
a fire (natural causes) —
an orphaned boy, sick.
The sun’s golden glare
pierces through the clouds below
and lands in the mud.
A man walks along
the wet, feces-ridden trail,
each step a damp thud.
His eyes dull hazel,
their sockets hollow; lips still —
there are no tears now.
Sometimes, when the clouds are thick
overhead, I see my dead brother’s face,
and at night, sitting on the bleachers,
watching the squirrel run and die,
I can hear my mother screaming —
flames raping our house’s wooden frame.
There’s a naked silence when I stand,
staring down at the frail bird’s grave;
last night, after the speeding ticket,
a young doctor apologized,
and by the time I walk into her room,
my wife’s skin is cold, eyes closed.
(I look back at the bird, feel my stomach
lurch — my vomit hits its beak.)
A white-wrinkled mark
on the grey and dirt-brown bench;
old seats placed apart.
There are many trees
here behind the silver pew,
their branches strong, firm.
In the early dawn,
a child wanders by and stares,
hands dangling like rope.
A low, quiet mist
moves in to comfort and blur —
her eyes unblinking.
Death follows always,
clinging near and keeping pace,
its thread laced in oil.