Thursday, May 11, 2017

Three New Poems by Carmine Giordano

Three New Poems
by Carmine Giordano


Wasn't I the little stinker
pushing my way out of her
as though I had some right
to make her sickly almost dying
from the afterbirth I left there 
in the capsule like some
astronaut's discard shitting up
the long ride through the stars
but then again who told her to be
her father's spiteful daughter
rejecting her the only man
she ever loved more than him
and raging away against him
sailed across the sea
and let herself be taken 
by my father's rakish poses,
depositing deep within her belly
the second man whose mewling heart
she worked so hard to please--
all of us, father husband son,
forgetting the woman
moving through her paces
the sweet perfume she wore
the breasts she carried for herself
the way she pleased herself
dressing for the mirror
how she said yes, how she said no
how she stood tall in her own shoes
and walked where she would walk.
Wasn't I the little stinker,
Maria, Mama, Mother of mine,
never to have known,
never to have let you know I knew.


Saw myself in the mirror
have become my father 
have become the old man
at the back of the grocery store
coming out of the men's room
with his zipper open
pee stains on his trousers
can't even walk straight
the big surprise that it
happened while I was 
doing what I was always
doing talking to her
while she had the flower
in her hair while her hair
was curly and deep brown
and we were laughing as
we always do while the
light comes early into the
window every day after dark
as it always does.


In what room of the old house--
porch with wicket chairs,
living room with the lion claw
lamp tables, the diamond-cut 
chandelier the merry-go round
of her always dying and leaping
her father the tyrant across the sea
the old man drinking his wine
his hands cut from the day's labor--
did they hide my baby boy
his hands folded for holy communion
my pink girl and all her laughing
the bright barrette in her hair?
Roaming the time-twisted corridors
I shout out their names-- searching,
knocking at every door.

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