Archive for February, 2021


I ran home from night school
                Where I ate pencils for hours
To lock my door and watch Carmela
                I broke into a sweat on my neck
Slobbered like an ogre to pass
                My driver’s test

And I never graduated,
                Never went naked in a graduate robe
With the toenails she painted pink
Instead I rode
my bicycles in many Italian races              
                Only to watch Carmela give her face
To a thousand other faces

Vulgarities are red in a mouth—the raised red glass
                A kiss sealed together with rubber
                A kiss from a stranger
will get a raise
While you wait for the love you can light with matches
Love you can’t know from praise.

And I wait for another race to put me down
                Not ever knowing the first one’s fate
                And I race Carmela in my mind
And carry her cross from time to time
No matter how many years she’s late.

–begun 1991, finished 2021

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From Salon de la Guerre’s 2018 album, Yipano.

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You put the juice on the table

You put the spoon deep

In the soup

You watch a sun that’s been angry all day

Put its anger to bed,

In the purple sea.


It’s a different kind of struggle

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