Poetry by Eric Kalata
Issue 63 • May 2018 • Midlothian

this warm baptist mug
            recalls a lost existence
         no one knows you now

     aging wooden home
you are riddled with phantoms
                childhood is a ghost

           call it what you will
              criticism only left
         some stark bitter taste

                           i flush my mouth out without
                           thinking of the rust in the

            pump i latch onto
plunged beneath the concrete stained
                 that burgundy/brown

                     this river is flecked
                          with muck and mud and algae
                       with no fish to feed

  please don’t throw me in
         it is all encompassing
           it is engrossing

  don’t breathe a word about the
             stench it is no fault of mine

       i was clean and i
glistened but now i feel so
            deeply polluted

                     exhaustion is real
                     here and guilt is resonant
         sorry for breaking

Born and raised in and around Richmond, Eric Kalata has been writing poetry and playing guitar since he was 13 years old. This is his first published poem. Find him on Instagram @scumbagkalat and hear his music at scumbagkalat.bandcamp.com.

Illustration by Paul Hostetler

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