Circles and Nothing
by Mike Sakasegawa
The light that enters your eye makes a circle
on your retina, an illuminated disc
with a defined border. Inside is everything
you see, from sharp center to fuzzy periphery.
Cross that line and suddenly there’s
nothing. Not darkness; nothing.
Trace a line around the back of your head
from one ear to the other—what’s there?
Track a fingertip as you move it backward,
until finally it passes from view. Things become
indistinct as you become unaware.
If you should become distracted—
perhaps outside your window a mourning dove
alights, puffed-out breast and bobbing head,
calling Here! I am!—don’t worry.
It can wait. You’ll be back.
This Is Where I Live
by Mike Sakasegawa
leaking showerhead and
the smell of rust and damp
concrete and he says
ugly and laughs and
he did this yesterday and
chink and laughs and
he does this every day and
i turn and reach and
it’s too much and
clang his back hits the locker and i don’t i don’t care i don’t anymore and the soft of his throat in my hands as they tighten his pink tongue protruding from behind his teeth my jaw explodes the world tilts the blue eyes behind his crooked glasses are shocked scared trying to defy and i was fifteen i was a kid i am i will always be this kid and here and would it be better to feel nothing than to keep living here always and did he know i would some day tuck my own kids into their beds here in the cold and the damp the empty locker room just him and me did he know does he know do they ever know and
No. No. Of course not. No. He was only a kid. He was just a kid, too.
Mike Sakasegawa is a writer, photographer, book artist, and the host of the arts and literature podcast Keep the Channel Open. His writing has appeared in Catapult, PetaPixel, and Don’t Take Pictures Magazine. His photographs have been featured on Lenscratch, A Photo Editor, and SD Voyager, and included in several group exhibitions. Originally from California’s Central Coast, he now lives in San Diego with his family.