Antonina Palisano


Another pit. I forgive my continuing
how I’d pardon insects their sound –
with a sick gut, shrinking. Now
the weird parlance of the sign:
a candle won’t flame, the animals fret.
I find a bird’s wing perfect & detached
in the street. Struggle to eat. But think
of the city’s savvy plantlife, dianthus
& creepers rooting under gray brick.
The way the early sky is flat,
then rising to abrupt substance –
streaming ochre, a third dimension.
The damp heft of hiding soil;
light, hauled to its highest point
in the morning’s muscled relief.
There is a body in a loved shape
beneath this, though all things
seem awful, oblate. Even now
a kettle comes to boil;
even now I try again
to see it.


Antonina Palisano holds an MFA from Boston University, where she received the 2015 Academy of American Poets Prize. Her work has recently appeared in Washington Square Review, Witch Craft Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, and other places, including the Best New Poets 2015 anthology edited by Tracy K. Smith. She lives in Boston.