sandy beach, image by axe20, on Pixabay
The crickets from the afternoon shift
are livelier than they’ve been in a long time,
they are good friends of my whole family,
they helped us negotiate more than one
interminable silence and uncertainty,
those times you’d swear you lived
in a small village,
with an unexploded bomb
in the town square.
Our relationship goes way back
when years, it’s already a long time
months, borderline long
and days, still a fresh wound.
When fire only brought us ashes,
when we buried our grief
because there were no bodies to bury,
when closure got stuck in traffic
and we went back to living
before it could arrive,
with an unexploded bomb in our throats.
Three Shells in a Bowl
The three shells in the big bowl
at the center of the table, by now
more than memories, are seeds.
After dinner, I sometimes stop
to put my ear to one of the three shells,
to listen to that moment
when I built sand towers with my bucket
at the edge of the towel
where my mother
sat to watch over me.
We discarded much over the years,
all kinds of things, but also words
that journeyed from meaningful
to meaningless and back again.
Over the years we bloomed into this family
that talks or does not talk, but dines together.
While the world spins shining and stumbling
at unequal intervals, our dinners are a reminder
that we have not existed in vain.
The three shells have made it so far,
more than memories, they are seeds
still blooming in the bowl.
(for Howard Swank)
He worked at a steel mill
rolling hot metal,
then he bought a farm
and became a grape farmer.
Hard work was not his problem
but work that mattered was.
Desire is molten material,
it can’t be taken lightly.
It must be handled with respect,
it will burn resignation to the ground.
Soon the grapes began to sing to him
their sweet and tart chants.
You might even say
they chose to bless him.
Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and
is an adopted son of the city of New York. The son of a teacher
and a poet, what he loves and what troubles him as a citizen
of one family and two countries bears its presence in his work.
His poems have been published, or are forthcoming, in The
Journal of American Poetry, The Worcester Review, First Literary Review-East, The Red Wheelbarrow Review, Mason Street Review, and the New Feathers Anthology, among others. In addition to that, his poetry received an Honorable Mention by the International Human Rights Art Festival, nominations for the Best of the Net 2020 Anthology, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2020. He also co-wrote a chapbook of poems in collaboration with Madalasa Mobili, Three Unknown Poets, published by Seranam Press.