Poetry - Issue 17 | March 2013

Two poems by Maria Apichella


Steering round roads, flagged by associations
I see pieces of bone in the hills, woven
in grass and stony bristle along the paths;
a jaw lies open in a stream.
I have been up there before and I’ll go again.
Down here I lift up my eyes to the relics
in the hills, to a tractor boy grown up,
who winced as he flattened the things around him.
He stood with me in the valley;
faced me in the bracken,
bellowing not for the divine but for me    
his canticle, the call of imagined water.
He was born with suspicion in his throat,
I kinetic with spirit.
Together we traced the borders,
trod the foothills,
rolled the foam flecked waves, the gritty beaches,
the salt cold depths of his home.
He wanted to be a dragon-tailed warrior.
He spoke in a language I could only feel. 
There are bones in the memory
of that boy who shambled off,
no forwarding address.
I stayed here
hovering steep on the brink,
jittery with my own longing, which he pressed into me
a recurring pain searing the dark tissue,
the marrow,
the cells of all the   guts I’ve got.

My foot would have slipped but the Rescuer
was already there, and knew the whole boring story.
He caught me like a scent, a look.

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About the author

Maria Apichella teaches online for the University of Maryland, Europe, and is in the midst of her PhD in English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University. You can find her work in places such as Envoi, Magma, Scintilla Press, and Sentinel Literary Quarterly. Her work will also appear in The Book of Euclid & Other stories & Poems. She was shortlisted for the 2012 Bridport Prize and the Cinnamon Press Short Poetry Collection Award, 2012.

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