What’s Left

By W. S. Di Piero b. 1945
How often now, raging weeping for the days
love gives then takes away, takes from you
the slightly chapped hand laid on the one
you’re pointing at a tree, and the voice
that breathes coffeeberry bush into your mouth.  
The finger that taps and feathers your ear
but the giggle’s gone before you turn around.
The sandalwood scent hanging in the room,
the auburn strand like a flaw in the porcelain,
the off-course nail clipping in the carpet.
The days eat into your stomach, knife you
with longing for relief from love
that you cannot leave or leave alone,
from its rings of fire where you won’t
burn down to ash or be transformed.
You become them, and they keep burning
and have a coffeeberry voice.
           Listen how
                     their rhymes sing
                               the little deaths you live.



Source: Poetry (April 2011).

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2011
 W. S. Di Piero

Biography

W.S. Di Piero was born in 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and earned degrees from St. Joseph’s College and San Francisco State College. A poet, essayist, art critic, and translator, Di Piero has taught at institutions such as Northwestern University, Louisiana State University, and Stanford, where he is professor emeritus of English and on faculty in the prestigious Stegner Poetry Workshop. Elected to the American Academy of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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