I’ve seen them
in a breeze or a rain drop
A slow shadow or stunning beam
of light through the trees landing
on my child’s eyelash creating God
in a prism Continue reading
If a couple gets married
and one commits suicide on February 11th,
is it anyone’s fault?
Feminists can blame all they want.
Husbands can lament and take lashes
while they rewrite poetry.
Like a blinking eye that opens then closes-
what is-is. Unless it isn’t.
Depression was a black lung hung off
a rat’s tail on the tree by her window or-
asbestos pilled on plumbing pipes-unwrapped
and falling like snow-long before they said, ‘I DO.’
Long before, Sylvia swallowed 48 pills, slept
beneath her house, woke to try again.
Marriage is hard, poets complex,
Poetry is hard, marriage complex.
Like pulled threads in a sweater, they unraveled.
Depression created a triangle.
Factor in children and the figure converted
to a love pentagon-where two people wanted winged
poems sailing space and three sides were left hanging.
Pentagon then add a lover? That’s a hexagon.
The shape shifted, lost all sides, became thread-a heart,
became a pneumatic noose around a head roast.
Sylvia gasped air and faltered, fell asleep.
She wrote every day in the dark before a baby
banged pots on the floor, uttered, ‘ma-ma,’
while Ted left to write, wrangle crows.
Rejection lassoes perfection.
How romantic-two poets in the same house-
unparalleled love letters, mirrored muses:
in truth, for them, it was murder-
no, it was a contest-
no, it was academia-
publish, perish, publish, Pulitzer-no
noose was wide enough to capture
the universe of words that broke them-
Instead of a valentine,
the noose became a knot.
You hate me. I can respect that.
After what your momma did to your daddy–
the lies like frozen honey, too cloudy
to look through–you can’t trust
a woman near him, like you have
an allergic reaction from proximity
alone, no need for a sting.
This structure was built in the 1800s. I can hear voices nibbling the dark, plum-colored gowns dancing the rooms, cigars burning. I am standing outside a heavy wooden door smoking a cigarette, somewhat hating its taste. I am alone and afraid of ghosts fond of an old building wearing a new life. This day is nothing but a mean lady coming out of a mean light. It feels like my life has been over for years and I have been standing here, smoking and watching my hands, paralyzed, hiding everything I am in my stomach next to a pie I just ate. I can only convince myself for a minute or two that New York is something more than good food and bad weather and cold talk of the cold men; that this never-ending minute will end and somewhere across the horizon the sun is watching the clock, waiting to deliver another impatient child I call “morning”. I will be a mother to it. Meanwhile – silver. Continue reading
“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the hinds of the field,
that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.”
–The Song of Solomon
What I thought
as he ran languid fingers
down the expensive territory,
waist and hard hipbone,
squeezed my ass like sweet
dough to be devoured
as his eyes ate greedily before,
mouth to lip, tongue
binding tongue close(d)
as a tight contract Continue reading
The end of a century flipping like a calendar number,
and here I am kissing a short squat building where
everyone says hello, and no one recognizes me.
Upstairs there are families I once lived in, but
pawnshops have moved in like stray cats. In the garden,
rhizome dreams borrow the curiosity from a stare,
sending up tomorrow as a stalk and teaching it to listen.
Afternoon is a jeweler
Setting hours in gold,
As silver glinting waves
Slap the garnet shore.
Gonzalinho da Costa—a pen name—teaches at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Makati City, Philippines. He is a management research and communication consultant. A lover of world literature, he has completed three humanities degrees and writes poetry as a hobby.
The night stars, I’m going to miss them
light up the dark sky, like Dante’s god.
From here, on this cold hill, it seems
the earth is dark but heaven is bright.