Apples and small houses. Sun in the window. How I desire your memory. Death sings and sings. The ancient white guitar, the crown of orange blossoms. Small golden windows. Your lamp, your red hair. Blind archers. Thorns. Son of immigrants. Dead gypsy. Open sea, closed lake. To the country of snow. Bury me in the thick honey of Italy. Nobody. Bring me your memory to die: 66 words, one for each year. You left: 3 mole daughters, 1 siren son, 1 incandescent wife, an old country of exhausted hills, a new one of water, water. You, the bright labyrinth.
Orioles and leopards in the trees. Rain falls in orchards, in the cloud-filled forests. Her voice that weeps after the rain, song first heard in the wood. The leopard prays. That delicious taste of blood today, where he’d bitten the inside of her lip! All my daughter’s qualities, my lord. A most leopard-like smile. The small bird in his teeth, bright, still. Her beating mind stills. His odorous breath stirs the down on her cheek. In the tops of the trees, feeding. Long dreams of a city where once she walked quite alone, pendulous flame of orange. Dark eye. Craves.
Mary Giaimo’s poetry and criticism have appeared in Barrow Street, The Journal, VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, The Ocean State Review, ItalianAmericanWriters.com, Poetry in Performance, American Book Review, Newtown Literary and in the anthology New Hungers for Old: One Hundred Years of Italian American Poetry. She holds an MA in Poetry from the City College of New York. She teaches English literature and writing at La Scuola d’Italia, a dual-language Italian/English school in Manhattan.