Juan Pablo Mobili

Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires, and adopted by New York. His poems appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, The Worcester Review, Thimble Magazine, Otoliths (Australia) Impspired (UK), and Bosphorus Review of Books (Turkey)among others. His work received an Honorable Mention from the International Human Rights Art Festival, and nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, in 2020 and 2021. His chapbook,  “Contraband,” was published this year.

For Him

para Enrique

to have been poor sinks its teeth 
in you, like a dog  that won’t
let go.  Years pass, —you are rich!—
but the scar will not leave, like
a dog that bit and held hard 
to leg or arm, and chose to
stay, no place or wish to go,
a mark now, a brand —no pain
but the thought of an old pain—
and now faint, the scent of shame.

At the End of Daylight Grief

The moonlight pours down itself
drowning the quiet with its impatient tenderness.

You could almost imagine she is a young girl
jumping rope within the heart of a poised mother.

I can’t imagine night came to wish us poorly, 
or reproach us for decisions we would regret tomorrow

for regretting. I think the moonlight wants to play 
with my hair, poke me on the shoulder, 

nudge me to raise my eyes at every constellation,
become undone with awe.

Laying out His Clothes

If my father would have wished a funeral
I would have asked to curate his wake.
That he chose to be ashes was not surprising, 
I doubt he ever enjoyed gatherings that much
and I never expected a letter with instructions 
on the aesthetics he was after.

Otherwise, he would have favored 
his Prince of Wales suit, a silk tie 
and the pocket square showing subtly
in his jacket, folded in an ascending line.

Personally, I would’ve chosen his suede vest, 
and a silk cravat around his neck, 
as he chose to wear on Sundays,
although I know he’d look at me wondering 
how I could fail to see it was too casual.

Still, if it was up to me I’d go with the vest,
and I would have insisted, in no uncertain terms, 
on shaving him myself.

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