Zev Torres

Qualities of the Sun  

Imagine the afterwards.  
Are there shrieks and cries,  
Or just a boundless silence?  
Where did you hide?
Under the bed or a desk?  
Did you manage to scramble onto the roof?

As you struggled to save yourself
And anyone else,
And items of profound significance — 
Your potted plants,
Your favorite photographs,
The quilt your mother knitted
In the months before your birth —
Did you find solace in the thought 
That the sun would rise tomorrow?

Did the sun return 
To cast its glow,
Or was it shining throughout, 
Powerless, however, to stop the ruination, 
Or bring order to the chaos,
Lacking the authority to cast judgement, 
The competence and qualities and
Skill set to intervene, 
The awareness that anything had gone wrong.

Lucky sun.  
With abiding indifference
It will rise yet again,
Whether anyone can see it
Through the clouds or the smog,
Whether anyone, other than you, 
Remains to welcome its return.


Can’t see. Something is in my eye. 
Come closer. Look. 
You see it too, don’t you?
In my right eye. Maybe the left.
Take it out. Carefully. 
It needs to come out.
No, don’t. It doesn’t need to come out.
Leave me – no. Don’t leave me.
Leave it, not me.
Stay close. Watch it.
Maybe it’s a reflection.
Your reflection.
Could be.
Say something. Listen. 
Maybe you’ll hear it – see it –
Maybe we’ll both see it.
Or hear it.
Hear what it’s saying.

It’s talking – 
Seems to be talking –
To me.
Seems to be saying:  

You look – 
You look beautiful, today.
From here, from this perspective.
Blurry. Out of focus. 
As usual.
The way you appear at your best,
When we are most tempted 
To grab one another,
To wrestle each other into the tall grass, 
Ignoring the risks of a rock strewn landing,
As we behold the detail and texture 
Of the shimmering selves 
We glean in each other’s eyes. 

Fantasy in Retrograde

so much for the 
		diviners of solar flares 
	and cosmic noise,

	insisting that no one among us 
			is capable of distinguishing 
		redshifts from blue, 

		peddling the canard that 
				we have been deceived because
		a strata of clouds obscured an eclipse, 

		declaring that only by our enduring watch
			can we ensure that no fissures 
	will mar the northernmost sky,   
	spewing prophecies rooted 
		in parallax observations, 
and regressive illusions. 

Zev Torres is a writer and spoken word performer who has been a featured reader at many New York City spoken word venues. His poetry has also appeared in numerous print and on-line publications including Flora FictionKitchen Sink MagazineThe Poet Magazine, Three Rooms Press’ Three Rooms Press’ Maintenant 15, Maintenant 12 and Maintenant 6The Pine Cone Review and Great Weather for Media’s Escape Wheel and Suitcase of Chrysanthemums, and in his latest collection entitled Stalactites and Stalagmites (2021).In 2010, Zev founded the Skewered Syntax Poetry and Pub Crawls. and, since 2008, has hosted Make Music New York’s annual Spoken Word Extravaganza. 

Flights, Issue Three, December 2021