• Mad Gleam Press

"Empty Bottles" by Sebastián Moya


Photo by Clairette D.G. (@clairettedg)


Empty Bottles


Bookshelf Buddhists resent attachments

feigning a love for white walls.

Anarchists break wine bottles

over reinforced glass.

Americans rate ounces

to the dollar.


I've recognized my tendency,

cultor of the distancing fields

we know it happened

green shards are trading cards.

my collection includes

dissertations on the loneliness of Paris.


in Tuileries gardens,

considering revolutionaries,

the immense buildings they despised

and kept.

considering the best bacon baguette

I'd had to that day.

amongst millions of descendants,

knowing not a shadow

to share its crispness with.

I could only regret you weren't there,

whoever you are.

cursing these empty bottles

with the same reflection.


Years later,

I decided it wasn't for fate or some shit,

But that maybe the Andes have a brutal magic.

I learned about the snow

and that they could shut down the pass to Santiago.

But I was just a wildebeest

tugging at light poles

then caught in her arms.


she was a student of war crimes,

we discussed Sinaloa and the Hague

over Bali Shag and purple gallons.

she asked how we could change it:

my only intentions were in

having known her when she did.


hours later,

when you had a bus to catch

I insisted I'd make it snow,

that the mountain path would be shut

and Pinochet's wake

would still be waiting.


we kissed at dawn

then those madrugada flakes

fell on her face.


later, when night came again

she woke me up with cigarette coughs

and told me it only needed to exist then

no facebook, no letters

moments untouched

by the fallibility of extension


but that she'd treasure it,

glass passed to grandchildren

more precious than dinnerware.

useful for two now and again.


And when she dies,

may it be long from now,

she said it wouldn't be the first thing on her mind

but it might make the cut.

but then it'll be gone,

because she'll certainly outlive me

but that's what makes it marvelous


I thought about how Buddhists don't think

and how Anarchists wouldn't have time to remember,

and how Americans would put a price on the extra nights in the hostel.

I pity their collection.

Sebastián Moya is a poet and a writer of fiction. He was raised between El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and graduated with a degree in Narrative Structure from the University of Southern California. Most of the time, he is bustling between Los Angeles and the Borderland, delivering harina tortillas to his gringo friends and weed to his Mexa friends. 

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