John Martone


At the kitchen table my father
cracks walnuts. He fills a jar
till not a single memory’s left,
sweeps the mountain of shells away
like the old world. His chair scrapes
and he’s off to bed.

A huge harvest moon out the window
I split my pill in half by the sink:
two little boats — I only need one.
(None, and the nightmares come.)

She smiles — she doesn’t know me.
It’s not her cataracts or glaucoma,
it’s today. She folds a slip of paper

again and again till it can’t get
any smaller, then sets it aside.
She sets it aside like that.

© John Martone

John Martone’s collections of poetry include so long (Ornithopter), Ksana (Red Moon Press) and Storage Case (Otoliths). His GIOVANNI PASCOLI — O Little One and Selected Poems, is newly out from Laertes Press.

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