Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Everything we hold between


Let Me Read

Let me read to you, the words lifting off
the page to fall between the hours from my
mouth, the muted squeals of afterschool children
outside the window, the paw-shaken cat passing
along the rain-spent fence, the porcelain cup
steeping silence in sleeves of still black tea.

Let me read to you, the small stories that whisper
how grief seeps into the bones over and over,
how the days slip so quickly from our grasp,
how when what passes remains passed forever,
as it should be, how hard that is to get wrapped
around, how a moon in Paris is like no other.


Let me read to you, your hair curled Raphael
about your clock-laden face, the pictures in
sound that mute the minutes that live there,
while the house settles and the child sleeps
a room away hearing all, the rustle of blanket
when the passage turns darkly and cricket-hushed.

Let me read to you, the galaxy all ours, no
place to be before dreams overtake us, history
on its own now, the weight of worlds giving
way to what we do here, to what we speak
from the inside here that emerges to thrive on
the outside there of everything we hold between.

Joseph Gallo
June 27, 2012


Sunday, June 24, 2012

In all we seek to do


Reading In The Sun

Reading in the sun, I suddenly notice my bare feet.
Did my father have feet like these, I wonder? I move
the toes to cast pedoliths down the fronts of an aging
shadowscape. The pages turn Bulgaria and its Gypsies,
a country not given to triumphal excess, its borders tight
and provincial as crows in a stand of nearby eucalyptus.

Sometimes, for no reason, the moment catches me this
way and I am flung light-years across a small cosmos.
I think of you, your smile, how we spent the past few
days in my little studio, the young hours still piecing
us together as if we were essential remnants of a puzzle
someone, many years ago, might have stepped away from.


The sun will stand still tomorrow, I think to myself.
Summer arrives and with it the footsteps that will take
us with it. We will press our travel into the prints to
follow where they followed, where others before us
wore their names into the bone-strewn regolith that
still bears their indelible markings in all we seek to do.

This last day of spring is my country now. It will claim
me as you claim me, yours and yours alone, taken without
apologies to yellow stars or axial tilt, the fireborne chants
that hum from our lips as they fuse to form shapes given to
crucial brevities that remain insolvent, free to fail and amass,
unheard songs pealed from penumbral realms of a dying sun.

Joseph Gallo
June 19, 2012


Thursday, June 14, 2012

What takes us away


Five swifts strafe the gray / Undercloud begin the day
Seeking quadrants of the sky / Absent both of you and I. ~Endra Ornith

Five Swifts

No one sees them, moving as fast as they do,
the circling abandoned, the most direct route
taken this day of overcast promise and reward.

Where they go in such a hurry is anyone’s guess.
Not mine, not this day. Maybe a mountain calls
out water; some meadow set insects carouseling.

So much passes unseen but for the briefest glimpse.
We live lives of deep conjecture, missing most of it,
whirling within what takes us away from ourselves.

Joseph Gallo
June 13, 2012


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This raider of hope


Small Feathers

The small feathers tell the story. Scattered on
the lawn, something dissembled that will never
know the sky until the wind claims what is left.

Who knows what it was, this raider of hope, marauder
of provisions that press life forward through summers
and winters of its kind, that took the nestling as it did.

This is all that is left: these photographs, these thin lines,
these brief sentiments in a ruthlessly burgeoning world.
Look for me then, in time, among the small torn feathers.

Joseph Gallo
May 29, 2012