Apartment D

by Michael Baptista


eyes, my lost highways,

painted like this plaster white-washed room,

marking each second tick, enflamed and

dull tracts half-opened and

peering inward.


longing to feel that warmth again.

to fill this void with a thousand atmospheres,

yet i’m still here.

how drawn-out these seconds can be,

hair on end consumed

with emaciated hunger.


i sit this day, rapt in moments,

scratching hunger eating from the inside,

only a matter of time.

hope of fulfillment fades to

sauntering clock ticks,

mocking me with

each tock.


(there’s nothing underneath a tattooed heart that bleeds

like a Christ

in the red dawn of a sand-stormed Algerian night,

my cigarette slowly taps,

rhythmic undulation, my pulse racing. It’s over not for me.

I will not get off




there in the bathroom, blue eyes of dawn,

another night spent in throes?

how does plastic and wax become

thunder in my hands dreams

in my veins?


daynightdream of tiny waxen bags with

icy blue eyes,

your face a courtroom,


always brighter than the moon

but darker than the sun.


(Slow-dive heart quick beats, seething down my throat like a splattered sky

bending knee stomach fleeting,

sycophant love

I feel it but I never was

anything much.)


in this room with tie tight, second cigarettes lit butt-to-butt.

a long pale night like a wire.

longing to feel your embrace around my waist;

craving to overcome the memories

of your grip.


my self-effacing stare is like resplendent jukebox chatters, hollow.

what can this brontology divine? tick-tock a bit more. thunder.

anticipating the tightness to come, please stay a little longer.


another minute flashes

in a wave of acupuncture-nightmare,

canal street Apartment D wallpaper peels nicotine-yellow ceiling,

comes crashing through me

like first love.


the pinstripe blue tie windsor knot that never begins never ends

promising happiness.

you never looked so lonely as my hero.

happy hour zeros loiter

on the face of the forlorn.


(and the comfort only self-hatred can bring,

each time,

one way or another, leads me,

brings me,

back to you.)


obsession around my throat could tear a sunrise

from the horizon of waikiki waves,

but in the worthen, Apartment D, balding and bulging, mocking me with each second,

cutting and piercing me,

in my gray suit with the tie loosened just so

and the tourniquet wrapped so tight

the world feels so




i taste god

and my sublime fear

becomes penniless wealth, empty love.

yes, i remember you there,

silently succumbing to my

genuflections and epistles, bending will.

i covet this guilt

like gold.


but against this wall you left me, saying the blue bags

are an interminable sky covering you in

a pollock-splattered sunrise

leaving nothing but an aperture behind.

but a cross-burden too heavy,

and now clock ticks are you wraith

in this empty washed-white room

haunting me even as

i love you still.


(i hold this pain, as a mother holds her only child,

slicing through clouds of memory smoke,

renting barriers of self-preservation.

the one tired of being hurt marches towards

comfortable obsession,

peeling it back down,

you bend and


my will.)


flashforward chest tight in your icy warmth,

all seems so right.

little blue bags that filled me with

desparate hope

in this place tonight, memory of you

like woozy warmth of homecoming,

yet leaving only

a night of sorrows

and sweat-soaked


in Apartment


Eastern Michigan University's English Department senior student literary journal