Guest Post: Petry By Christopher Iacono

Philippe Put

Philippe Put

Absent

Once the nurses wiped away the blood,
the boy glowed like angel without wings,
crying, squirming, while you gazed at him
with red streaking through your eyes,
anguish wrinkling the paleness in your face,
and a heart, empty like the unfilled bottle.

Father never taught me how to love you.

Summers were spent stomping on grass, bouncing
in inflatable houses, riding in wagons.
You sat in your lawn chair, sipping your beer,
while friends taught him how to pitch balls,
catch them, run bases, punt, tackle, skate.
Mom helped him with homework, but by high school,
he was scoring A’s on research papers,
while you bragged about the glory to barflies.

Father never taught me how to love you.

He got his wings, flew over the walls
of silence you built, travelled miles to build more.
When he broke down the wall, you once again
sat and watched him, standing at the altar.
When your grandson arrived, and your son
stared at the squirming angel, he thought,

Father never taught me how to love you.

 

Between 6 and 8

A fragment of a symphony flows
from tinny speakers, tickling
your ears, staying in them. You greet
the morning with a groan, press
a button to stop the music, but the melody
and rhythm made by the winds and reeds
follow you in the shower. The fragment niggles
you during breakfast—a lonely bowl
of dry oats and hastily poured milk—
and your commute to work. You turn
on the radio—state police blocking
the left lane on the highway—shit, you worry
about your 8 o’clock meeting. You throw
your head into your seat, grind
your teeth, sigh at your phone, your keeper
of time. The radio anchor boasts breaking
news, but you switch stations. That music—
stroking the insides of your ear again.
You must hear the rest of that piece—
the adagio, minuet, and allegro,
the different modulations—you find
nothing. Then you pause, turn
off the radio, close the windows.

There it is.

All along, it’s been playing in your head.

 

Final Journey

Below the waves, fish watch
your body, gradual in its descent,
into darkness. Never will they know

why you raise your hands—
no longer under your control—
to the sky, why you keep your eyes

open, yet they no longer look
back into eyes staring at you.
Your mouth slackened as you called

for help. Your lack of voice
reverberates and saltwater fills
your mouth. They only see

an unchained anchor falling
to the ocean floor, warning
of dangers above the surface.

 
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Christopher Iacono lives with his wife and son in Massachusetts. You can learn more about him at cuckoobirds.org.