Marc Alan Di Martino

“We live in the flicker.”
-after a line from Joseph Conrad

We live in the flicker
each fugitive wick a blur 

less real than the last, each
indeterminate gasp a 
vowel perched at the mouth of the
ear. I don’t know what deed

I did to deserve this
nearness, this bliss. 

There are things that undo knowing:
hows & whys, electrons snowing
eerily beyond one’s grasp.

Further on the ocean, its spliced iris
leopard-spotted with masts,
inches closer. Is it a wishbone
clenched in your fist, or a skeleton
key pounded from spite? 
Enter the unmarked grave
riddled with light.


Big Full Moon

Tonight our window frames  
a moon the size of a quarter, 
George Washington’s face 
shining soberly back at us. 
Behind him, in the distance, 
too far for a human brain 
to contemplate, the luscious
starry fruits beamed down 
from telescopes more powerful
than gods: butterfly-winged 
nebulae, amoeba-shaped galaxies
torqued by gravity’s muscle,
sombreros, pinwheels sequined
and spinning, jewelled piñatas 
scattering bright blue candies 
across eternity – immaculate
snapshots no human eye had ever
seen or philosophy dreamed of 
before. Does our insignificance
terrify? My wife inquires why 
I care what happens on Jupiter 
while here on planet Earth
everything is broken, and I  
look at her speechless because 
for once I can’t defend 
poetry in the face of logic
or anything else & of course,
as always, she’s right.

© Marc Alan Di Martino

Marc Alan Di Martino is the author of the collections Still Life with City (Pski’s Porch, 2022) and Unburial (Kelsay, 2019). His poems and translations appear in Palette Poetry, Rattle, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and many other journals and anthologies. His work has been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Currently a reader for the Baltimore Review, he lives in Italy. 

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