• Marías at Sampaguitas

Poetry by Maria S. Picone

Gracefully


the first time she falls, you are there to catch her

the second time, plants and tender keepsakes  break

the fall; the third,

you notice her dissolving

between island and oven falling, tears,

having fallen.


haunting isn’t about the linger

coming around any time it wants;

haunting is about lying.   “Everything’s fine,” 

she says in her not-yoga pose

haunting is 

imbalance—just one stair at a time, bruises 


all the way  down


you will put her in a home,

a ghost feeding off

her pension and your 401k.

you will call less, come 

less, talk less, think less about the shade that dwells,

sweet oracle, in the space between 

slip

fall


you would rather die: rather be

forgotten, rather open the door to space,

get sucked out at once the youth gone 

all at once  not this slow

descent




Maria S. Picone (she/her) has an MFA from Goddard College. She loves cats, noodles, and oil painting. Her poetry and translations appear in Mineral Lit Mag, Red Alder Review, the Able Muse, and Vox Viola. Her Twitter is @mspicone, and her website is mariaspicone.com.

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