PRETAS by HALEY CLAPP

Years and years and you–

my shrivel-handed, my ever-praying
buddha monk, seek samma ditthi,
tasked with pulling splinters
from a mother’s memories.

She, your single-handed saint turned
gardener, who grasped at silt
with crackling wrists that shook and mourned
the absence of your father,

He, mangled-handed Southern son
now half a soul, a sigh of dust.
So see me father, anatta,
who turned back mirror’s time
and lives, samsara,
but they were–they are–

you, my ever-praying
buddha monk, soundless,
unclasping weathered hands
you seem a martyr.

Years and years and you
are–

Let city lights grow shadows
on your writer’s desk, use palms that sneak
from solemn prayer’s reach
and move the sneering piece of glass
from God’s and your own sight.

—–
Haley Clapp is a recent Indiana University Bloomington graduate and fledgling queer poet who will be attending King’s College London in the fall for her MA in Critical Methodologies. She has served on the Editorial Board of various IU publications, including LABYRINTH and The Undergraduate Scholar. She loves sad songs and horror movies and hopes to end up somewhere in the world between literature/art and academia.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.