Sunday, June 22, 2008

This is only one


I meant to do my work today,
but a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
and a butterfly flitted across the field,
and all the leaves were calling me.
~Richard Le Gallienne

Summer Sends You Sun

Summer sends me a bouquet of sun, seven sacred flowers
picked at dawn. I walk backwards into the night before and
place them in a vase for today, which will not arrive until

tomorrow. I will rise to find beneath my pillow seven petals
bearing your name. You will be my wife for seven minutes
and never know. We will raise a family by the third minute,

spend the rest of our happy lives in the remaining four. I will
die first and you will mourn me, my widow. I will never see
the tender suffering at your window for I will have returned

my eyes to the stars. I shall instead lay my light upon the hand
of your youthful skin as the night visits in its way. You will savor
the days left you and think of me sometimes as I do now of you.


Morning will make its moony dew and call softly to your feet,
sing dearly for you to dance through noon. Soon, soon. I will
stream to Lesath because it is there. You will stroll in Luzern

because you are there. I will have no need of bones or wings;
you will roast peahen and peel red potatoes. Bells will bronze
your bread and I will still be dead. Summer sends you a bouquet

of sun, do not run, do not run. Seven flowers picked at dawn
and you will yawn, you will yawn. For there are many summers

yet to come and this is only one of some, one of only some.

Joseph Gallo
June 19, 2008


Monday, June 16, 2008

Every great and absent father


The Appropriate Place

I add the “e” to dad and look at the word.
It sits the page like a raven with its hands folded.

It is not a notorious county in Florida.
We arrive at it long before then.

Every great and absent father has traveled this way.
His bags are tattered; his shoes leak soul.


He is an amulet of invention from the time he keeps
stolen in his pocket to the manicured miles of smalltalk.

Somewhere there is a clear glass overrun with streaming water.
This is his life, uncatchable, wasting precious like sweet fear.

I add the “e” to dad and look at the word again.
It has not moved a left-gloved inch.

It is not the final word, or even the first.
We arrived at that long before now.

Joseph Gallo
June 16, 2008


Sunday, June 01, 2008

What fails and what remains


For Linda

She says I am a box of crayons, hewn sticks of
molded wax that make the blind borders of a white
world disappear into a chromopoly of hued refraction
where sun and rain kiss in broad arcs that span
everything in between what fails and what remains.

I am the chewed ends of happyeverafter blue where the
sky huddles within a longing to be scattered in swanful strokes,
where a laser lemon sun might speed the day or a spaceneedle
moon squeeze up and over a pierced mahogany ridge scrawled
in short scratches that sketch precisely where the lost worlds live.


I am paper peeling from a scarlet wound of Tennesienna fire,
spring eternal palmed in a sharpened sprig of asparagus, the
blunted stoving of Lincoln hat black that makes shoes scuff the
sepia tilework that danced all the way from Italy to hold her brave
bare feet perfectly so as she moves water from room to room.

I am manatee in the margins where mass polarizes ultra and absolute. I am inch worm in a wasteland beyond mauvelous and mangoed measure. I am timberwolf in the tumbleweed circling paper with whiteout fangs. I am bear hug in blizzard bruise beavering bittersweet brink banana pink. I am goldenrod fun in the Prussian sun fleshed in fuchsian wisteria shadow.

Hold me thus before all you would confer in tint and tone what must needs repel. All shades dim and die in the presence of night; color surrenders its many ghosts, herds lapis Lazarus back into his hopeless hole. There will be no miracles or messiahs tumbling out from umber heavens today. There will be only this box of spilled crayons, this crush of bright shavings curled in the tongues of all we dare not speak.

Joseph Gallo
June 1, 2008