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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Poem: 80 words
By Aruni Wijesinghe


Four years past your death 
a virtual mass commemorates 
your journey into the más allá. 

Mourn anew. Penitent hours 
hunched over a laptop. 
Anhelo—yearning—is close 

to anillo, ring. The symmetry 
of language, the economy. 
Keening in a perfect circle. 

I eavesdrop hymns broadcast 
from Parroquia San Jose Obrero, 
a sermon about Jesus 

and Mary Magdalene 
nothing to do with the story 
of you and me. 

I swallow my own tail, 
unable to escape 
the litany of missing. 


Aruni Wijesinghe
Issue 14, August 2022

is a project manager, ESL teacher, occasional sous chef, and erstwhile belly dance instructor. She holds a BA in English Literature from UCLA, an AA in dance from Cypress College, and a certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from UC Irvine.

Aruni is also a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet whose work has been published in journals and anthologies both nationally and internationally. In 2020 she served as guest editor of Redshift 5, an anthology of pandemic-themed poetry (Arroyo Seco Press). In 2021 she co-authored The Undulating Line: Writing Poetry Through Belly Dance (Picture Show Press), a collection of essays, poems, and writing prompts that explores the connection between dance and the poetic impulse. The book 2 Revere Place is Aruni’s first solo full-length collection of poetry and is a love song to her family and her miraculous childhood in New York (Moon Tide Press, May 2022).

She lives a quiet life in Orange County, California with her husband, Jeff, and their cats, Jack and Josie. You can follow her writing at www.aruniwrites.com.

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