Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The sweet leaving of losing

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First Things

September on the rancho and the light is arriving later,
leaving earlier. One tends to notice the firsts of things,
like this being the first day of autumn and this being
the first thing I will say about it. Summer is already
an afterthought like when we embraced outside the
rustic amphitheater before Much Ado About Nothing.

With newness comes the sadness—what we throw
ourselves forward full of hope into, we mourn the
sweet leaving of losing what we must give up behind.
Sand and sun and blue wind over white water mending
the broken shoreline trodden by footprints that run every-
whichway, one atop the other, certainty and hesitation.

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Is this our second or third autumn together now, I can’t
be sure, since the stars still hum taut summer ditties in
Vega, Deneb, and Altair voices, the scumbling arcs
of northbounding, eastflaring, southflinting satellites
pass mutely overhead intersecting the trajectories we
inflict upon such dark musings with our low whispers.

The fans are still on, turning the trapped air in my
studio into scurrybreeze pouring down off the high
walls onto the loft bed I will lie upon naked and alone,
naked because to wear the season would be discourteous,
alone because tonight you are not here. Even now with
summer gone, one tends to notice the firsts of things last.

Joseph Gallo
September 23, 2014

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Everything that moves

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Woman Seated In Open Field

He didn’t see her at first, his mouth
flooded with wild mustard, his eyes
drowned by the drain of the sun, so
many crows blot out such small detail,
but there she was, still life strewn in a
suitcase countryside, an angel he did not
want to see given to such an awkward
arrangement, the wind pushing debris
and bird paper, emergency exit cards,
news from a catastrophic future scurrying
across the rabbitscape, tall farm grasses
mottled in crimson flecks where the school
children stood stroked in shock, small figures
expressed with a flick of brush beside a strap
of smoke where her pale hand bends at the
wrist waving goodbye to sky, to everything
that moves beneath it, beckoning, perhaps,
a too eager Vincent to take wing and follow.

Joseph Gallo
September 10, 2014

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Where they all walked off to

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Little Shoes

I remember this game, promises and compromises
if she’ll just eat two more bites. The young father
out alone with his toddler, her plain quesadilla holding
its own, his mountain of supernachos holding his.

So I watch them awhile—he treading beans in a sea
of cheese and guacamole, chips circling in yellow-
finned sharks of hard corn; she squirming on the bench
looking at everyone and everything not on her plate.

Then I notice her little sandals and remember more.
My daughters, their delicate growing feet, the many
times I fastened their shoes and didn’t, boxcars full
of times, and I wonder where they all walked off to.

I choke up thinking about those little shoes—in some
landfill now—35, 25 years, 20, counting my son’s,
buried with everything that gets put under, trodden
down, yet intact in spite of time, erosion, entropy.

They exist, still, in the way primitive cave figures
exist, deep in places few and no one dare venture,
enduring by persistence, the treason of memory,
surviving the peril of what it is to be forgotten.

Joseph Gallo
August 31, 2014

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