Other Poems by:

Lisa Manzi


When I touched your talcum 
scented skin, how downy 
you were, folding 
like a pillow. Your 
stomach, a rounded shelf 
designed for cradling.
We, babies, all slept once 
on your convex curve. 
Remembering interior 

noises. The slush 
of your lullaby 
always on my mind 
when you let me bruise
or scrape under my  
own careless care. 
Its song bracing 
the sting of your iodine 
dropper. Nothing hurt 
once your head tipped 
back under your toothless grin, 
not awaiting grown up teeth. 

How I wanted to perch 
myself on your shelf 
forever. You slept 
the way a bear lulls in hibernation.  
Confident in your large existence,
waking me with your whiskers.


When the last spoke in the wheel 
of human progress has finally broken,
I'll be ready with my deepest well 
and my stockpile of bubble bath.
The moon will be a sliver off full,
the snow glazed hard,
my light footed retriever
will sound like a horse

her way around the barn. 
The cry of the mare inside 
shall signal your foot set,
at last, upon the path 
leading back to my door.


What cheap wood

pine is. How tawdry 

its gold.

How crude its grain,


making up  

the empty chair, 

always reminding me 

of my yearning


for a form

that never existed

and steadfastly 

refuses my crafting.



When you came back to me

I opened the door to my empty house

I said nothing taking you in

I led you up the stairs 

and laid you out on my bed

like a new suit 


I pressed myself into you 

until you shut  

and my uncried tears wept  

out into hallow pools


between your eyes 

and the bridge of your nose

until you opened up

blinking my regrets and relief 

into you, my fluid

swimming the depth of your iris


jammed up at the outer corners

until the dams burst

and silent streams poured 

over the tiny wall of your lashes  

across your skin 

dyeing themselves into 

the faded linen 

taut beneath our wait 



A soldier walked home 

today. There is a shallow 

cave in his forehead, 

and a red crescent 

scar marking the curved 

spot - marking the place 

where his skull used to be, 


like a crater in the moon 

with a blood-red river bed 

nestled safely inside. Now 

he is home. A piece 

of his skull lost somewhere 

else. Gone. Missing.


And he will spend his life out 

with the shape of a man's 

fist in his forehead - 

like the soft spot in a baby's skull, 

yearning to grow over, 

a spot made for caressing.

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