Monica lives in Florence, Italy. Her international spirit travels with an American passport and adores languages and literature. She can’t shake loose those late-sleep dreams. She moonlights as a legal worker when not parenting, project managing, and writing. In 2023, her work has appeared in Across the Margin (Asheville, NC), Writer’s Block (Amsterdam), Mediterranean Poetry, The Florentine, Rome-ing: Firenze, and the Bosphorus Review of Books, in addition to Fevers of the Mind (2021), Adamah (2021-2022), and Synapse. She currently edits poetry for Open Doors Review. Find out more at sharpmonica.com.
Click down, click in, Like a lover, wanting, wanting. Like a memory, Not to impress someone or something But to make an impression, Pressed like a longing that never fades. You saw the world as it really is, and it surprised you. Or, you finally understood the world as it really is for you. This surprised you even more Woke you up, caught you. Down and inside you, like letterpress. Trace like braille. It means nothing. The lyrics aren't perfect But someone wants to say something different. That's still strong. They dispose of their feelings: Warmer, heavier, more space. Sometimes I fear my son Who left things so easily Impressed on no one but his mother and sister. A friendly and ferocious ghost of a child. When I was a child, I wanted to impress. I wanted to push, push, push, every person and time, To be remembered, even as landscape and scenery Changed every year with moves, friends, schools, houses. A tugging suspicion: I annoyed people who don’t need to impress: Their families, homes and towns. But who am I, vulnerable against the earth, Following my parents and brothers as my father Traced capitalist footsteps? Is it possible that my legs were heavy with effort Despite being a little girl, Whose gender, age, type of person Could be so easily erased and forgotten? This thought horrified me. I would find the heart of the heart, Mark it with a look or a word. Each new school a new canvas, each new house a printing house From whose windows I threw out inserts of printed poems. You should have remembered me. It would have been printed on them, them, them.
What we first saw Shiny purple bursts exploded Silk petals background Early spring fireworks The colored powder is in a preliminary plan After the winter did not happen The fruit is filled first with worms, and then with flies Then other insects. Inedible. I tried to bake with her soft culture My heart sank in the stinking mud Shoot a lion We don't know in June Move over later Those flowers, brown in the sun, faded into memory New people now live in our house Maybe they already know They will welcome flowers with a lullaby Compliment peaches and plums They will feel betrayed under the pretense of fruits Those pathetic trees could barely stand up Giving only a sick ball here and there Whatever is left, the squirrels quickly gobbled it up Peach pits lined the fence like small skulls I will remember the delicate, pale, fluttering petals I wouldn't miss that hard fruit, it is Space Peach Promise. (The Oklahoma City airport gave my last flight out a thumbs-up.)
Listen, I've been on a long journey lately It makes me want to sleep here Sing me a pretty song This is no place to drown tears. I will meet him hand in hand He is calm and quiet I thank him for his words He comes out from behind the curtain. I have a book in my pocket I read it when the weather is blue We married in another life but They suggested different clothes. It didn't take long. Life is not far And ended sooner than we feared. I will write you words from time to time Your widow: secret Shakespeare. In memory of Jay Gerald Porter, 1973-2021