Friday 25 February 2022

Three Poems by Alec Solomita


 

Night watch

 

On some summer nights,

Jemmy and I lay side by side

in my back yard waiting for

the sky to sacrifice a bright rock

or two to the earth.

 

Mostly we were tucked

into sleeping bags, but

this night was hot and

swarming with stars

and the weatherman had

 

predicted a meteor shower.

Even the grass where we

rested our hands was warm

as we talked about the slim

redhead we’d watch undress

 

on lucky evenings when

I was sleeping over. We

were medium-bad boys,

didn’t fight … much, but

got nabbed once at Macy’s

 

with a Monopoly game

cornering out of Jemmy’s

loose shirt, and one time

in Jem’s room I shot a light

bulb with his BB gun

 

and we watched the smoke

twirl upward like a black

cobra. But there was also the time

I was alone in my room pushing

my hard penis into the bed when

 

a feeling so lovely I almost

swooned took me by surprise,

shooting through me like

a star, spreading on my sheets,

changing my life forever.

 

I dared to tell Jemmy about it

this night under the abundant sky

and flushed so hot when he

didn’t answer and even hotter

when he pulled away a bit on

 

the bent grass. But a moment

later, when a pair of white meteorites

skied almost simultaneously

down the black heavens I

was relieved as he shouted,

“Look! Two of them!”

 

 

God’s Country

 

Maine is God’s country.

But don’t take my word for it

and don’t listen to the benighted

who claim the title for the Isle of Skye

or Bali or Kakadu or Zimbabwe,

all numinous, all with traces

of the divine, for sure, but

 

Maine, you see, has the whole

world in its hands. The coast, from

black-browed rocks to grassy sand,

hosts the jingling rich,

private beaches, fungible artists,

meddling beds and breakfasts,

while a half-hour’s drive away, tourists up

from Everett wear their Bruins T-shirts;

and cascading from Canada come

the broad-backed Quebecois,

like sea creatures crawled back to land,

their belt-defying bellies, and chatty,

tribal wives under odd-shaped

tents watching all-shaped children.

And, then, off the long, various coast, the islands,

from Bailey to Vinalhaven to Little Cranberry,

with their gardens and no-car rules and sloe gin fizzes.

 

Go inland and find a thousand new wonders,

awkward, delicate moose, clumsy fawns,

mad loons with dead eyes who cry and laugh

over unspoiled lakes and long woods

dotted with crushed Molson’s cans. 

Brown bears diving into dumps, beavers exploding

onto elastic surfaces of calm and misty ponds,

rivers and rivulets and brooks, lily pads and slow

frogs, cedar waxwings skittering for mosquitos.

Angry lumberjacks, tired timber drivers, cranky

Customs cops, anxious waitresses, yellow-eyed

wolves in cages outside broken homes. Tongue-

lolling deer dangling from pick-ups. The

 

aurora borealis, mephitic paper mills,

mountains that rise from lakes like fjords,

water freezing down their stony flanks.

The Spillover Motel. Towns called

Dresden, Lisbon, Sidney, and Rome,

miserly farms, unkempt cemeteries, canting

headstones, “Bernadina and Adelaide

Kingsbury, Drowned, June 11, 1918.

‘When you lie down, you will not be afraid,

when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.’”

 

 

Memory and Pride

 

Did we have a choice,

abandoning hopes two-by-two,

and left with the grinding

inevitability of the other?

 

We gather around a table

like an old stove and we smile

real smiles as wine is poured

and dinner is served.

 

Memory and pride faced

off in the ring and pride

won by a decision.




Alec Solomita is a writer and artist working in the Boston (USA) area. His fiction has appeared in the Southwest Review, The Mississippi Review, Southword Journal, and Peacock, among other publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal. His poetry has appeared in Poetica, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Litbreak, Driftwood Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Galway Review, The Lake, and elsewhere, including several anthologies. His photographs and drawings can be found in Convivium, Fatal Flaw, Young Ravens Review, Tell-Tale Inklings, and other publications. He took the cover photo and designed the cover of his poetry chapbook, “Do Not Forsake Me,” which was published in 2017. His full-length poetry book “Hard To Be a Hero,” will be coming out this spring.

 

 

 

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