His name is loose. A choir
of seagulls aims to understand it,
but of course, that’s not
going to happen. Especially not when
they can notice a television through
the window. One avoids
the word “comfy” if he can.
Immense hope isn’t at all
what we’re feeling, especially not when
we eat cottage cheese with
peppercorns. Seagulls are bored,
only that’s not the word
they use for it. Like you, they have no
inclination toward fame, nothing
happened to them as a boy.
Clouds like passing semis
on an over-noticed landscape—you’ve never
known what to say. Now you say it
so close it doesn’t matter.
In front of the television you were
airborne. Head low on the couch,
feet crossed in an unforgiving pike
on the distant chair. I thought of gondolas.
I would have paid more attention
to the magic trick, but this gloss-saddled
television came back. It lit your arms blue.
Canned laughter. What you
wanted me to ask I was unwilling to ask.
I knew well the history, the way a child
is frightened like a sponge. Hesitations
made before you knew me.
And I hear sirens. I hear dry leaves.
There is no preordained way
to start over.
Inside the Summer is Something Clean
this one like wet paint. Barges
flaunt their distance.
What I am left with is that
like when you sketch from
memory but know that
part of her
underformed, the arm like
Remembering stifles all charm.
The winds change. It is butter—
that sour smell outside
I have this almost like I rehearsed.
The observation is how
each moment is
itself and its own unmaking—
which will we apprehend?
The room wider than it will
be all afternoon.
A mound of shrimp
carcasses at the foot of the bed.
Voices in the hallway, then
gone. Halfway through dinner
you take my hand.
Nothing has much vehemence
to it. At night the windows
are open. There are
Darin Ciccotelli has recently published work in BOMB Magazine, Conjunctions, Fence, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Subtropics. His poetry manuscript “A Number of Dead Birds in Our Neighborhood, and for No Apparent Reason” was a finalist for the New Issues Prize in Poetry. He currently teaches at Soka University of America.5