PoetryIssue 17 | March 2013

Two poems by Maria Apichella

Scrabble

Meanwhile the Organic trash bag hangs in the air. Lemon,
carrot rind, clump of hard coffee.  One   two   three  
a word has been found. The kitchen light splats bushy
gold on my boy’s lovely head. 
The day sinks into the salad bowl.
Only the bark of wolf-dogs, mutts. The blonde
German girls laugh in the house above.
The tawny cat, all bendy bones and a jewel-like sore
on its oozing spine, crying like a child.
The kettle has finally boiled.

Scrabble continues slow: What do I look like,
a dictionary?
I’m just trying to model the non-competitive spirit.
I am going to write America, Xenophobic. Pisa
spreads below. Mass gongs. Postcards are sent
and home is just over that mountain.
Tomorrow we eat more gelato.
Shalom.
Bloody hell,
Jewish words in the scrabble?
We will have chocolate with strawberry, or banana with mango.
We will eat, go to Mass,
put ourselves in the sea.
There is more sausage in the fridge,
tea in the pot with no lid.
Your nationality sits on your head, several treasure troves   deep,
what am I? Last.  Epic failure.
Welsh people in a Pope forgiven country.
My sister, a non-Catholic teenager,
was force fed the Host by a harried Priest.
God does not mind.
Give the Protestant a chance, my mother said.
Make your mark. Don’t be such a meanie.
I require silence. Liz, Maria, Callie.
I’ll use pepper spray.
Fingertips are more sensitive than the tongue.
Fore finger has no face.
Daddy sleeps upstairs.
The green glass waits to be an inspiration.
The squeak, squeak, squeak
of the gadget floor mop,
most annoying sound in the world,      continues. 

It’s late.
You bite your thumb at me? Screw you, sucker.
Let’s finish the game. 
Bickering.
That’s how a poem should start.

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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.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok