They’ve Taken Out the Sun, But At Least They Left the Moon

Quirino Alberghini



Empty the staircase stares at me like an ancient figure in want of respect

but the cellar door is right in the living room

and I too have forgotten which way to bow.


Oh lady at the counter of the kiosk,

oh imaginary hairdresser whom I love,

won’t you come into this vagrant dream

and take the part of my love, the witch

whose knowing eyes I dare not meet in the middle of this dense emptiness.


Remember how you guided me in my wanderings,

as if you knew the horses better than I did

(which you probably did, since I hardly knew them at all),

how you graced me with the divine smile of your eyes,

how you gently touched my hand when you took the coins

and placed them in your heart’s safe

and then in the cold metallic cash register?


And how I fed you strawberries when you opened your mouth

without asking?

(Needless to say, this was in a dream.)


What happened to our love when its first flame burned out

in the menacing autumn wind?

Did we manage to delve into one another, build a fireplace

before it withered away?

Yes, we did,

however it wasn’t quite soon enough

to preserve the original inspiration

which brought us all the way here.


That’s why we now have to skip some lines

(which would probably have been rather dull anyway)

and step right into the end of the poem

(but hopefully not step ON it, especially not with our boots on)

which goes something like this:


I am your battered hand.

I am your rope decorated neck.

I am your leftmost lung, gasping.

I am your frequent inaptitude


on the muddy waters

of your innate excavations.


the end.