|Daniela lives, teaches high school, and writes in Pennsylvania.|
© 2003 Daniela Buccilli
the fast track highway
From my brother's
of the same generation
Line a bike lane
in hippie dress,
I ask the black couple
royal American garb
Beside the Schwinn ten speeds
there are benches along the trail.
but none shaded, the bare-
chested cyclist said.
He wears his
draped around his head
Like a sheik.
make sure to stare
Only at the woman,
the lobster clasp
her two inch yellow gold necklace
into the dip in her collarbone.
I smile, I remember
teeth, step behind them quickly,
And thank them.
black women or Indian women
Hate a smiley white woman.
can't stop the smiling—
smiling myself to death—
the time in '87 when Shantelle
Recited my example poem to
in glowing mockery.
I felt a punch to the lung,
I kept smiling.
I was listening to the Beatles,
Three black kids carrying
of chocolate candy bars
For $4.50 each
on the apartment door.
noticed one's uncombed African
noticing such a difference
I buy the chocolate.
time I walk the bike trail
I'll concentrate on the
every trunk of each 25 year old tree.
A mini-race track, a X-mas
ripples around a dropped dream.
dusty black on the tar trail.
Lawn mower, my engineer
Perhaps it is to avoid
up the machine
makes the groundkeeper drive in circles.
Park Mall Shopping
A woman on the second floor
must not see
a man in the same color outfit as she
has on below her.
She maneuvers in fashionable strides.
Toes ahead of her nose.
I can see
his arm muscles showing,
his chest taunt
through orange tennis shirt
Her orange tennis shirt
Is loose and waving like a flag
over blue slacks.
His blue slacks are, too, waving,
on the escalator up.
No shape to his rump, just
a vacated bump,
like her belly.
Between them, I sip Pepsi,
watch them cross
like two soldiers on patrol,
like two birds in the clouds.
Partial List of Love's Qualities: Weight
has the weight of a lover
he gets sick and dies in a hospital
big enough for forty more lovers.
is the touch of your lips on his closed eyelids before
wakes up and tells you the news:
wait to hear what he has chosen.
is rawcotton ripping mountainchildren's fingertips,
promise never to make their children pick cotton—anything was better than
they were wrong. Not much is better
than the weight of working
old men and old women who remember the day you were born.
how could they have known? Every lover is a child accustomed to love.
forgives lovers for cross words:
can anyone in love imagine the million ways the world has to not love you?
weighs no more than your father's shoe,
black, plastic tips on the laces,
strip of shag carpet inside.
weighs no less than your mother's
for not finishing the wedding veil
started, because her hands cramp now.
is the weight of a cart on which your two best friends sit
you push it down the hall in your high school;
gripping the edge, their legs outstretched and tight; they hooting.
barely making the corners and making a racket, but nobody comes out
a classroom to yell. The yellers
have all gone for the summer, and you have
whole school with all its globes and maps, its closets
posters and book storage rooms full of dust to yourself,
and your two best pals, who later leave town and go places
they are allowed to be themselves, the selves they'd created,
you knew them when they lived under the pressure
a small town, and you saw the diamond crystals forming.
drifts through fibers and tissue and loneliness, slowly,
as if it had all the time in the
world. We can only wait in measured
Today, when we leave this hospital
too early for anything,
it may decide to float down in the
wet wrinkle of a falling green leaf,
shaped like a small finger, to find
you or me,
despite our experience.
All work is copyrighted property of Daniela Buccilli.
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