“Dusk” by Nikki Corina Dela Rosa

I have a friend I will never meet. He lives in traces 
of handwritten notes to me: In scratch papers, invoices, 
labels and spreadsheets. I think he didn’t really like being here. 

Here is work you see, where your hands get calloused 
and your knees bruised and blueblack knuckles bleed. 
Who wouldn’t lose themselves in a place like this? 

His birth name he took to the grave, so I call him 
Dusk instead. We meet in a dark, isolated room 
with a chair and a desk, hand saw and power tools. 

Dusk follows me in places he has been, I often wonder 
what he had touched and fixed since then. 

Is it the patched holes on the blue accented wall? 
Or maybe the fraying carpet in the grand main hall? 

Well, we met in the third week of September. 
The room smelled of fresh lumber and cigarettes. 
The first morning was a game of hide and seek 
with coffee cups inaudibly murmuring his living name. 

It may have been three decades now, and I am still here. 
Dusk awaits me in the tunnels. He never left the keys.

Nikki Corina Dela Rosa is a revolutionary queer poet located in Tongva land (Los Angeles, CA). She is the daughter of proletariat Filipino immigrants. Her writings dissect intersectionality issues and ecopoetics.

Featured Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash