by Francisco Márquez
From above, death looked like a burning circle,
spinning rings pressed to a searing halo. From above,
death resembled my father tied to a bed, masked
men at the edges. Death was an island from above,
or sandbank swallowed by water, its macaws gone west,
and the details of wildlife stripped as after a fire.
Death is a difficult beauty, said the gunman, as my father
resembled a saint, arrows sticking out the mattress,
his crucified shape pinned by specks of blood. Yes,
death is my father walking to work, hands untied
red, macaws circling over his shining head
which from below, he believes to be shadows.
Published September 1, 2019
Francisco Márquez is a Venezuelan poet with work appearing in The Brooklyn Rail, Bennington Review, and Narrative, among other publications. He has received honors from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The Poetry Project, and Tin House. He works at the Academy of American Poets and lives in Brooklyn.
Kelsey Shwetz is a Canadian born painter who lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens. She completed the Advanced Painting Intensive at Columbia University, and has been a guest lecturer at UCLA, Pratt Institute, and Laguardia Community College. Shwetz has exhibited in New York, Miami, Germany, Slovakia, Toronto, and Montreal and was awarded fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center and CanSerrat Residency in Barcelona. Publications featuring her work include: Maake Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine, Whitehot Magazine, and the Globe and Mail. Her most recent solo exhibition was in the spring of 2018 at Brethren Gallery in New York.