Two Poems by MJ Santiago

MJ Santiago


imagine if the sex were real
imagine I am touching someone
and they are casually mentioning their
trip to Ireland with their parents, how they
slept in a castle and it was beautiful and
they want to go again next year and
none of it makes me want to die

imagine they are removing their pants and I
have taken off my shirt. imagine me
making my future wife our best oolong tea
googling how to use a waterpik
what’s the exchange rate in denmark? maybe
we should go to puerto rico again this year.

in both scenarios I am keeping it to myself:
maybe too much is
better than nothing at all
calculating the exchange rate on not sharing
blankets to sleeping on the floor, smuggling
herbs and crystals onto my mantle

keeping it to myself:
boycotting Wendy’s is actually really hard
because I love spicy chicken nuggets and
I’m doing it for my people,
so please be proud of me

Some Are Good People

She invited me over for New Year’s Eve
but when I got there the house was empty.
All of my uncles are dead, but
this isn’t a criminal act,

The wind destroyed my last umbrella.
The kitten died, asleep in the laundry basket.
Any one who was there
knew it was an accident.
I ate the candy before I left the store
but paid for the empty wrapper.
The roof caved in and the dog was starving
but no charges were ever pressed.

Fear is not an energy but it moves me:
I don’t want to talk about my dad’s diabetes,
doctors, eating spinach or kale with
a sense of purpose. I keep buying umbrellas
from the dollar store and throwing them out
when the wind destroys them.
He is running and says:
keep moving. That’s the key.
These are not criminal acts.

MJ Santiago’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Aegir Magazine, Reservoir Journal, Vagabond City Lit, and No, Dear Magazine, among others. They are originally from central Florida and currently live in Brooklyn.


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