Poetry by Adam Iannucci McClelland
A small fire in a brick ring.
Paella pan, saffron, rice, mussels, quail.
Moonlight sags from the rooftops.
Fat oaks, rose briars, iron gate.
Dogs prowl corners of the lawn.
My eyes red from smoke
watch a woman brush
brunette hair behind one ear.
Night and memory are inevitable.
Like names on headstones,
like nightfall left withering
at the crimped edges of the fire.
~ for J. M.
This cold front knew you
years ago. Already on your
father’s breath, the license plate
of the truck you would buy years after him
as if a son’s eyes were not enough.
How funny to be recognized.
And here in this place
with a bride and a truck.
A tarp and straps to hold down
dreams you kept from dust.
It isn’t unexpected.
Your fathers timbre voice
falls to your ears -
never if, but when.
Filamentation on Mulberry
The pigeons braiding above the cemetery
are gray headstones,
the men black beaks
heap furniture in a pile
behind a trash truck
– someone has died.
A wooden leg snaps
like knuckles when it hits the street,
the duct tape a string grid.
A block North on E. Houston
mango neons spell CIVILIANAIRE
– always waiting to burn out.
I am a block North of their endurance,
bound by an apartment
of an old man who – for 14.00
an hour – I sit with to make sure he is OK
listening to the same stories on Wednesday
I heard on Tuesday, but happened
fifty years before tomorrow will.
They have placed
in the graveyards
muddy and black,
among the grass and gravestones belying the dead
and across the street a young construction worker on break
does not care what color they are.
He is doing chin ups on the cross bars of scaffolding.
How peculiar, a body upright, yet
his work boots float inches