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Accidental Selfie in the Photo of a Window Quote

West Hollywood, 2019

Who should I look to be when AIDS took a generation of leaders & artists & mentors & thinkers & lovers from me…


But the photo is a ghost: reflected boy who takes the picture, boy becoming thread. Boy sick again, undiagnosed, to whom these words will ring divine. Paint to pane, this sigil for departed, lives held in the glare against this glass. The photo is a ghost: boy not a boy but body double with rejection. Somehow, living then; a wasting king left wanting for long curls and smoother cheeks. The blue dress that will save boy still years off. Boy then is short hair and a loose black tee, scruffed face behind the camera. Above, branches off the sidewalk trees part and drop down midday light. Sun-skinned here, boy gospels with a generation. And that night, perched upon a tub’s ledge soaking feet and tonguing cankers, legions call again. Will wash boy’s wounds with sweetened salves, will offer up salvation through new life. Today that boy is gone but isn’t to be mourned. The sun still knows this spirit, how bright to light her walk below the trees.


*This poem appears in The Florida Review 46.2, Winter 2022.


CD Eskilson

CD Eskilson is a trans poet, editor, and translator whose work appears in The Offing, Ninth Letter, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among others. CD is assistant poetry editor at Split Lip Magazine and runs the Open Mouth Reading Series.