By J. Paczuski

(After Giorgio’s “Saturday’s Joe Rosenblatt”)


He speaks of aunts and the brush of their eyelashes,

ruffling the air like wingspans, bracing

for the flight of heaven. Outside,

the sky’s gift of a new bed sheet of snow lies tattered

already by this ruffian city tumbleweeding

its heels through time. He will

not go home. The waiter


hurries by, burdened and doubly in the turbulence

of his shadows. Electric glints of light etcetera

off the waiter’s spectacle. Or is it

there are coins in his eye sockets? I worry

That they will pop out in the random bump; that

no one will stoop to pick them up, loose change

rolling through some grating.


Giorgio speaks now of friends. Of his friends who

have friends he is a friend gatherer. He would garland

together the continents of hands. In the frenzy

of the city, his words breathe

the thaw of hope. In the moment,

I see all icicles of display, those stalactites

of envy under all the eaves of all subdivisions

melt. Fountains of arms and hands slaking

their thirst for embrace, ending

the tough parch of voice.


His mouth is ovalling the words. The vowels

Have sharp edges today. He knows how love 

can nutshell itself

in the strut of a fine suit clothes;


How the artist can become distracted

by the cool surfaces of its chrysalis.


He will not go home. To the blankness

today in the cubic shell of his room

where he can hear

angels on the head of their solitary pin



So he waits, restless

for his tongue, (a plump man passes the cashier,

his face pleased as a pebble’s), restless

for his tongue, (at the next table, two couples

squeak at each other like new shoes), restless

in the restaurant, restless for his tongue,

for its return, its promise.