Three Poems

Arlene Ang

Behind This Cornea of Storms

The park grows white
under the steel bench
while crows pick
over bloodless flesh.

The silence that greys
leaves and sky
is split by the thunder
of a ringing phone

then office voices offering
patrol cars to the morgue
where Jane Doe slept,
my number in her pocket.

The receiver fell black
lightning as these hands tried
to save my wet face before
it toppled to the floor.

Crows at my feet raise
a cloudburst of wings
as my bag of crumbs spills
morsels not even birds will eat.


Constrained Indolence

For three days now
heat greys the sky
in false premonition of rain.
From the bathroom
a dripping faucet beats
in rhythm with sweat
trickling onto the mattress.

Lying in bed, I spread
my arms like a chicken
dipped first in boiling water
then plucked of its feathers.
The ceiling exhausts
every breath with
its fan of humid air.


Dining in Brisighella

A taste of Tuscany, perhaps. But it’s not
that easy to swallow saltless bread.
The table may be laid for health when
stone walls are warmed for low blood pressure.

Bread, we know, is flour, water, eggs, yeast
and essential NaCl. Bread is life. Enough
to sweep sauces from plates or savored with wine
and Parmesan cheese. Not this insipid mound
of baked sponge melting from saliva in your mouth.


Arlene Ang (aumelesi[at] lives in Venice, Italy as a translator and web designer. She is also the Italian editor of Niederngasse. Her poetry has recently appeared in Sidereality and Absinthe Literary Review (2002 Eros & Thanatos Prize Winner).

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