Poetry by Maria S. Picone
To Fievel from an American Tail
When I was a child like you,
reed-thin pipes thick with the timbre of
crying, gazing moonwise, starwise,
at what I could not, through my east-facing window, observe,
I thought of family, reciting a prayer to my guardian
angel. All us space-worn children carry
American tales: our journeys, elixirs
of ecstasy and terror too closely-sequenced
to form a narrative: a stripling nightmare. I dreamed of--
pressing a band-aid to my father’s broken skull—invisible
warriors invading my bed. If through any fault line,
they could enter. Knew from birth that she passed me
on from her womb, my alternate future portending
“Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day, be at my side.”
dislocating me from her body like a fallen
star. Knowing womb’s night as the flight from Seoul to Boston.
She passed on me. My only wish, as I beheld the silver
visage of the angel:
for her to be thinking of me, loving me tonight.
I remember in our lyric Greek seminar
my professor’s voice trembled like an ancient
lyre string when he spoke of the Linus song,
the way to mourn a lost child:
remembered Linus clinging to his childhood
passions as I did. We sojourners raise up insane hope--
inoculation against inveterate fear--
it is not enough just to grieve, a foundling
Past committed, I chanted towards my heaven,
the far half of the Earth; I had four imaginary
friends who understood the magic behind my incantation.
Underneath the moonlight we heard the premature dawn
birds ramp up their singing; at seven
my parents brought me home an abandoned kitten and she,
being like me, licked my hand
as we fell asleep underneath the same big sky.
Maria S. Picone has an MFA from Goddard College. She loves cats, noodles, and oil painting. Her next project is a hybrid chapbook that explores her relationship with her birth country, South Korea. Her poetry appears in Mineral Lit Mag, the Able Muse, Ariel Chart, Headline Poetry, and Route 7 Review. Her Twitter is @mspicone, and her website is mariaspicone.com.