Eyes, Windows, Etc.
You had them eating right
out of your hand,
those pretty ICU
nurses. Ooh, ooh, Paul
Newman blue! they crooned.
for your amusement, tubes
hooked to bags filled
with insulin, glucose, antibiotics
that would prove useless.
My Father's Buddhist Girlfriend Attends His Wake
For a Buddhist, this
was not what death meant: body
flat as rice paper
lining sandalwood, the small
gems of his chest, ears, fingers,
the shut white opals
of his eyes arranged neatly
inside, so shining.
Velvet box. Velvet box. Velvet box. Velvet box. Velvet box
on a plane. Velvet boxful of my father in her lap on a plane.
Velvet box in her lap next to some stranger on a plane. Velvet
box in her lap next to some stranger flying past the bay.
Next to some stranger, my mother sitting on a plane. Wrecked.
Wine the color of velvet. Color of blue crabs out of the Chesapeake.
Blue crabs like velvet dipped with drawn butter. With wooden
hammers. With instructions: insert knife under belly notch.
Pry. Open. Break off face plate. Hard shell. Remove
spongy lung material. Legs. The flesh is edible, sweet and white.
Sheila Squillante is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, A Woman Traces the Shoreline (Dancing Girl Press, 2011), Another Beginning (Kattywompus Press, forthcoming, 2012), and Women Who Pawn Their Jewelry (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming, 2012). Her work has appeared widely in print and online in journals such as: Brevity, No Tell Motel, quarrtsiluni, MiPoesias, Phoebe, Cream City Review, TYPO, Quarterly West, Literary Mama, Glamour Magazine and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best American Essays, Dzanc’s Best of the Web and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net anthologies. She teaches writing at Penn State. Visit her website: www.sheilasquillante.com
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