Furlough

“I love to see those tall, lean, muscular men/with their clean-shaven heads and digital” a poem by Barbara Goldberg

The Muscular Song

Many of Piazza’s poems insightfully—powerfully—explore this idea, illustrating the ways in which fear and love are not abstract emotional states but transformative processes of physical and psychological becoming.

Winter Commute

Dear friend, asleep / upright in a seat / when I boarded the train / goat-stepping over / your legs outstretched / why didn’t I wake you / but instead watched / you sleep. A poem by Joshua Weiner.

Covering the Mirrors

After a funeral, they were covered with black cloth, / some draped with shawls like a scalloped valance. / … anything to shroud the odd-shaped mirrors, / though sometimes a corner was exposed like a woman / whose ankle peeks forbidden from under a long skirt. A poem by Carol V. Davis.

Postmortem

Not counting what I can’t remember, / the closest I ever came to her was when I put my hand / inside the urn…

The Butcher

With a smooth blade, he slit the throats of steers, / drained the blood into a bucket, salted the meat / to make it fully kosher. A poem by Carol V. Davis.

Blossom Road

I don’t know why I pulled over, idling, right before Christmas, two months of snow and
salt
plowed onto the shoulder, each squat rambler aglow, a life-size baby Jesus reborn in the
DiPasquale’s front yard,
why everything looked different, the way the woods you got lost in as a kid seem small
and disappointing when you return to them older,
because I hadn’t been out of there that long, less than a year, and as far as I could tell in
the December blur,
beyond the slight expansion of the motherhouse infirmary, where the sick nuns, most of
them retired teachers,
convalesced or passed, where I’d volunteered during study hall changing bed pans and
pouring Hawaiian Punch into paper cups,
they hadn’t renovated the spired building I’d entered day after day, my plaid jumper
becoming more ironic with each curve. How selfish it is after you leave a place to doubt that it could function without you. That it all goes on was enough to make me crack, facing the grotto

I’d stood around with my class, a hundred of us, in Easter white in another season,

singing as the May queen and her court offered flowers to the stone Virgin or just
pretending to sing.

Songs for the End of the World

On the other side of praise / it’s time to chop down the tall tree in the ear— / enough enough with the starlit promontories—/ a nervous condition traces itself/ in lightning in the clouds, / a little requiem rattles among Coke cans / and old vegetable tins