Thursday, January 24, 2008

With whatever might remain of grace


Dying Alone In Italy

Perhaps I’ll die alone, in Italy, no one within range of my missyllabic tongue, and even if there were, my calling your name would sound of gibberish like a man whose head is being held underwater while reciting an alphabet of fishes, the secret sounds given them before water has its way with their breath.

Who will know what I am thinking, some attendant who would rather be anywhere else but in a room that groans and moans with the weight of a mal-lived life pressing against a conscience pricked by memory and all the blood required in living it into remembrance.

I will hear the light falling embered behind trees that line a black horizon, note evidence streaming through a window onto a bare blank wall, scent hope in something I may never see again. I will hate you for it, perhaps, while you swab my mouth with saltless water and feed me hollow hours you have no right to hold, but there they are, nonetheless, slipping firmly through your hands.


Maybe I will die in a crowd in Barcelona, just as alone, your initials on the tip of my forgetting, your mouth in my mind the moist cave of a forgotten sea that washes through some break in my confusion where we are together and wet, tumbling in a curl of blue crescent begun years before and half a world away while I lose my way on some calle or avenida, rain on slick cobbles, the air thick with a future like your womanly form I will never embrace.

So with all choices abandoned or claimed by those with color left to paint banners with them, I will leave this world and it will leave me. This is written in the hours left me and cannot be altered by any means, under any circumstance. We will say goodbye with whatever might remain of grace, if not dignity; with whatever passes for humanity, if not enmity, if I am still capable of such pretense.

And in that hour there will be bells pouring through the bright canals and I will be as present as the air, and then not. In that hour, all other hours will cease and the sun will finish falling to rise again just as it does everyday no matter who might be left to see it do but that.

Joseph Gallo
August 19, 2007


Thursday, January 03, 2008

The atomized veil of a hundred kisses


Divining Water

There is the queek of your trembling body
when the pipes have yet to heat the morning
and all that shivers runs giddy down the drain.

There is the atomized veil of a hundred
kisses when hunger collides against love
to leave you vanished in its wake.

There is the recession of a black sea
when geology returned everything it
ever took out and put the bones back.


There are white skins of ice spread across
the late pools waiting to be touched
and set to the wind of a music box.

There are ribbons laced above the rain
gathered in unbraided rivulets that spread
fans against the lowing peacocked sun.


There is yet yearning that breaks open
the sky of the heart, even after days of
rich hours and burning years of drought.

There is this which must stand for that, and all
of that is what this is, and what is left is all that
stands for water, and water knows this is all.

Joseph Gallo
November 23, 2007