by Jio Santino Forbes Deslate

There is no glory is liminal spaces.

Only arrogance, big enough to fill it.

There stood Amorsolo’s first draft,

A woman in the midst of creation.

Bone-white canvass, sea foam reclaiming

Its primordial enclave. Engine

Dressed before it is ready. I presume

The artists had the end in mind

But it was now mine to finish

Dad said lawyering is forever.

The older you get,

The more they’ll be needing you.

He celebrated both my LAE and

My sister’s Bar triumphs in the hospital.

“Lawyering is for—

The older you ge—“

He mouthed in intubated mumbles

But that was just what he thinks

I wanted to hear. Our collaboration

On his last words I’m still


Easements was the only time

I ever drew in class. The artistry flared

From repression. Or maybe I just shined

In carving and christening roads. The

Gumption to get where I need,

To get back out there

“There are no walls in Malcolm”

Teased the dead poet. Just towers

stretching to catch up to my distant walk.

To gauge how far I’m going.

It is the scaffolding of the years, I

Return to. Mounted by myself,

The true halls I march on (on

Union-time, of course)

I say when I am finished