Four Poems

by Shirley Camia

"Girl with Camera" by  Eliseo Art Silva  |  ISSUE ONE

"Girl with Camera" by Eliseo Art Silva ISSUE ONE


previously appeared in The New Quarterly, #143

there in your bed
lies an atlas

an archipelago of bones

ridges and valleys
of sunken flesh

estuaries of veins

but under the blankets

a beating heart


on the first night
the aunts
are lighting candles

in front
of a grainy photo

of you
in the philippines
at an empty buffet

an unnatural smile

their prayers fill the room

aba ginoong maria
napupuno ka ng grasiya

outside the snow
is rampant


santa maria ina ng diyos

all i can think —
they made us take your clothes

at kung kami’y mamamatay

you must be so cold


there is a scream
but it’s silent

as it falls six feet

landing on your
casket with a thud

under the white drifts

and the scattered
purple petals

torn leaves

frozen stems


remember that time

i sat in your lap
hair matted to my face

damp from the summer
and child's play

cousins swarmed like frantic bees
a nest of sweaty limbs

you were the eye

Writer's Bio:

Shirley Camia is the author of three collections of poetry: Children Shouldn’t Use Knives (At Bay Press, 2017), The Significance of Moths (Turnstone Press, 2015) and Calliope (Libros Libertad, 2011). Her work has been featured and reviewed in various Canadian publications such as The New Quarterly, the Winnipeg Free Press, Contemporary Verse 2, and Shameless. These poems will appear in Mercy, which will be published by Turnstone Press in 2019.