Three Poems by Anthony Liccione

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the blood doesn’t
run, like it once
did,
from the open
wrist and below
my arm to elbow
and into
your full breast,
it just runs slow
and cold,
like paint thick
slapped against
a barn

as you held me
with hot tears,
you always came
just in time
to call an ambulance
as the bathroom
floor became a gorge
of unresolved depression,
and you would hold me
tell me everything
will be okay

okey i wasn’t
and truthfully you
knew the sickness
was there,
but you gave me words
to feed upon,
let me fuck you
to stay sane,
tied a washcloth
around my wrist
to slow down the wrath
of blood from spilling
out every time

but we were just fools
you see,
innocent young fools
i can now tell you
as the ambulance
races to the hospital,
while i spit all this blood,
this is the first time
i can assure you
that it doesn’t hurt
anymore,

you’ve done a good job
in not making it here
this time,
i guess you can say
i beat you to the punch,
but oh these faces
around the table
how they look so pale
and grim and desperate,

trying in every way
to save a failed life.

Immaculate

has went missing five days,
the third month she was
found pregnant
woven in the womb
with a child, not his.

The moon was a little
fuller that night,
low and yellow the wolves
hollowed back in attack,
as the police summoned
a search for her body.

Together family, friends
strangers and husband
combed through hairs
of unbroken sway patchwork
bright green sorghum and
gray-green pigeon pea fields,
k-9 dogs with her perfume
scent on their nostrils.

The smell came stronger
next to a warm stream,
where the steam of a lush
river went up in a fog to God.

“Boys call ‘em dogs back,
I reckon we found our Mary,”
captain called.
In the middle of a whirlpool,
spinning a cloudburst of leaves
and a cross of twigs,
was an rib of driftwood,
smooth the fossil of break bone-
bark floated,
a hand of white glass and five
waterlogged fingers
baring a golden wedding ring
went waving in the rapid.

A baby, uncircumcised,
umbilical cord fastened
around a flower,
survived lying in the ravine,
an angel still missing-

Heaven now heaving
not wanting to look
at the unbiblical
birth below,
a father
with death
on his hands.

Lesson

I try to tell them
while yet young,
that heaven is within,
but its hard for them
to take deep
and hold belief,
within this eye
of hell
where views construed
by sorrow and prejudice,
a world full
of hypocrisy and sissies
that carry a gun
in their tongue.

I try my best
to keep them at base
in truth and the bible,
so that when they
enter pre-adult,
they won’t be lured away
by the drugs and drunks
or fall short
and shatter
into a dead man’s mirror
of lunacy

on the highway,
take the road slow
and have control
over your urges, senses
and lungs
I tell them,

the same road
that took my life,
when I crashed head-on
with the devil,
who yet laughs
while a father, somewhere
is punching his baby
in the stomach.
Repeatedly.
Breathing stops blue.
The room not so yellow
from a burning lightbulb.
As laughter
races in the halls
of hell.

 

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