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Kirby Marquez
April 2023
4. April Kirby Marquez.jpeg

Kirby Marquez is a poet and spoken word artist who seeks to combine his love of words with his professional experience in voiceover and mental health. In his work, he explores ideas of love and mental health, cultural identity, as well as music and pop culture. Although he currently works in the field of criminal psychology, he insists that poetry is a medium that reached out to him and begged him to share his story.


You were once my favorite wake-up call,

But good morning texts get old.


I’m sick of seeing the screen flash the most scintillating sequence of pixels:

Your name,

Your notifications,

Are no substitute for the sweet sensation of watching a sliver of sunshine sneak in

through the window to caress your skin.



And slowly,


Like, Honey


I’ve already memorized

The rhythmic pulse when you text,

Though that will never replace the rumble in your chest--

The way your lungs fall

And refuse to stop rising

As you do.


Your heartbeat a metronome that keeps me on time.


I’m tired of phone calls

And falling asleep on you

When all I want is to fall asleep on you

Knowing you’ll be there in the morning.


Nobody ever told me that your mausoleum would be so cold.


Nobody ever told me that losing you would be this life’s time before & after demarcation


A lump of coal, under the pressure of Father Time,

This divinely depressed diamond of a diagnosis.


Polish it with poison.

Place it on the ring with which you propose a perpetual bipolar partnership


Your absence left me

More popular at school.

There, I’d sit alone,


A phalanx of friends and classmates,

Shielding me from the paparazzi of teachers and counselors monitoring just exactly

what I wore on my war-torn sleeves each day.


They never warned me that losing you would set my sanity back some,

But life always forced me to read a few pages ahead.


I hate that money became a wedge,

That forgiveness became a stranger who wasn’t allowed to sit in our pew on Sundays,

That Inay’s cancer could cure broken friendships.

I never knew that every grilled cheese sandwich would become a memory of you.


I hate that God never asked me about giving up my birthday for your death anniversary.


But I was there.

I still had to go

For what would’ve been your school dances and proms.

Maybe you were there too.

I try to find you

To find comfort in the remnants of you.


The pressed flowers stuck between yearbook pages,

Between graduations and heartbreaks

Newborn babies and newfound loves,


The one nestled in the bosom of Mother Earth.

You, perched delicately on the shoulders of the horizon, the line that lies, for one

precarious moment, between a dark night of the soul and a brave new day.


I wish I was a baller, like you were.

I wish I was a little bit taller,

Though I miss having to tiptoe to kiss you goodbye.


I wish somebody told me your mausoleum would be this cold.

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