Wandering South Street with You
The day will be fleeting,
so I want to photograph you
near neon lights, storefront mannequins
in pink corsets and red fishnets,
your hair tucked under a knit hat,
some brown strands visible behind your ears.
I want to photograph all of you—
your chipped gold nail polish,
black stockings hugging your thighs,
white smudges of salt on your boots,
the plastic mustache you bought
as a gag and wore as we drifted
shop to shop, café to café.
By sunset, our hands will unlink,
and we will drive home,
that two-hour Turnpike haul.
After you drop me off,
I’ll glance back and remember
this day, here on South Street with you,
when your hand curled into mine,
and we pretended to be lovers again.
Awaiting the Thaw
Last day of March and flakes fall,
fat and heavy like snow that coated sidewalks
that January day when I shoved belongings
into my trunk and piled the rest on the backseat.
I lingered and stared at the 17 carved on red wood
near the mailbox, and remembered when we looked
at the house together two years earlier. Thunder cracked,
and rain pounded the outside patio. Still,
you pulled the drawstrings to your hoodie,
explored the backyard where your shoes sunk
into the damp yard as red and yellow tulips
contrasted the gray sky.
This could be ours, you said, pointing
to flowerbeds, where we would preen
hyacinths and hydrangeas that coming summer,
after the move and before the arguments.
The day I left, I stared at the 17, and recalled
how we huddled on the wrap-around porch,
awaited the realtor, peeked through windows,
pondered what type of life and home could be ours.
Soon, April will come in like a lover,
her touch warm enough to disrobe March’s white coat.
I will bend low in a different yard to prep a garden
and lay new roots beneath fresh soil.
Brian Fanelli’s books include Front Man (Big Table Publishing), All That Remains (Unbound Content), and Waiting for the Dead to Speak, which will be out this fall with NYQ Books. His poetry, essays, and book reviews have been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, The Paterson Literary Review, Main Street Rag, Blue Collar Review, Kentucky Review and others. He is also a contributing editor to Poets’ Quarterly. Brian has an M.F.A. from Wilkes University and a Ph.D. from Binghamton University. He is a full-time English faculty member at Lackawanna College.