by Jennifer Martelli
I had a brutal boyfriend slip a gray pearl
ring on my heart-line finger.
He was from a family I’d call gavones—
boars, pigs who eat other pigs. Once, after he carried out my dry old
Christmas tree, I picked pine needles off his chest.
His father planted rows of cypress
fencing in their back yard and it looked like
this hillside in Salerno I saw on a postcard
my grandma kept on her bureau. Sappho wrote,
and in longing/she bites
her tender mind.
Oh delights of the mind, plague of the mind—
I swallowed my gray pearl moon
Jennifer Martelli is the author of My Tarantella (Bordighera Press), awarded an Honorable Mention from the Italian-American Studies Association, selected as a 2019 “Must Read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and named as a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award. Her chapbook, After Bird, was the winner of the Grey Book Press open reading, 2016. Her work has appeared or will appear in Verse Daily, Iron Horse Review (winner, Photo Finish contest), The Sycamore Review, and POETRY. Jennifer Martelli has twice received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for her poetry. She is co-poetry editor for Mom Egg Review and co-curates the Italian-American Writers Series. http://www.jennmartelli.com