Thursday, February 25, 2010

A ghost of last breath


The Last Woman I Fall In Love With

may be named Jeremy. He will work
in the hospital they brought me to and
be a paragon of caring and procedural
execution. He will tend to me beyond
the end of my luxurious discomfiture.

Or her name might be Connie. She’ll
be ordinary among ordinary, yet I
will find her unsurpassingly beautiful.
I will have unnoticed her on a thousand
streets and a thousand subway seats.

Only now will I recognize her as my
tending angel. I will want to sit with
her over coffee and talk in detail about
the new curtains she hung in her living
room that match the blue seat cushions.

She will know the purpose of every
tube, be adept in filtered needles and
dispensing of pain medication. She will
take me back to the bliss of my youth
a hundred times and never know.


I will fall in love with her in the last
hour, marry and have three kids. We
will have a wooded house in Ohio,
a cabin in the San Juans, and a yurt
somewhere far up in the Blue Ridge.

The last woman I fall in love with
will see me through to the other side.
She’ll set the coins to settle up with
the ferryman, unplug the machines,
notate her clipboard, and call for the doctor.

When they return, it will be the most
embarrassing moment of my life. They
will check some signs, say some words,
note a time in the chart, and douse the light.
My love will lie hidden in a ghost of last breath.

Joseph Gallo
February 25, 2010


For my father on the day of his birth and who passed away in May 2005. And for all of us who have lost and will lose fathers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

That you do so



For Donald Konopka

If one day I should die
See that Orion stands fierce in the sky
A belt of light, a sword of stars
A cloak of negrid cultivars.

If one day I should pass
Toast to me a demitasse
Raise it high to an upturned moon
See that you do so very soon.

If one day I should cease
See my war is brought to peace
Eat the fruit left in my bowl
That it may seed your pilgrim soul.

Joseph Gallo
February 16, 2010


In memoriam on the day of his passing. Deepest sympathies to the Konopka family. Artography above from an original astrographic image of Orion by Géza Kurczveil, ©2010.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The loving states


Lözarn Valentine

The lovers walk, their every footfall
an exercise in cinching the bond,
invisible points where tendrils
stretch and strain along the body
in tender pressure variables that
move them apart, but not too apart,
and clumsily crash them together.

This couple are in Kapellplatz, she
in white, he in black, neither aware
I am watching a world away, spying
them gait their paired singularity,
noting how the muscles compensate
for cobbled terrain and the old stone
fountain before them, marvel at how
they negotiate the obstacle without
compromising the union, the loving
states that tell me they are lovers.

Joseph Gallo
February 14, 2010


Saturday, February 06, 2010

You know now



God, begin.
Day One: This is light.
Two hours in the dark
and you set yourself ablaze.

God, begin again.
Day Two: This is light.
Two millennia bright when
you know it’s for real.

God, once again.
Day Three: This is home.
Spread, spread.
Three ribs and you call
the Man your brother.

Man, stop now.
Day One: This is nothing unknown.
Cease spreading.
Take a moment to dust your luminance.
You know now what you need to know.

Joseph Gallo
August 24, 2009