San Giovanni in Fiore By Vanessa Gibson

San Giovanni in Fiore

For Richard Hugo

A man looking for his family
finds them just to say the hole was clotting
someone else’s air. The best fit topography
is clanging earthen mail, not words the mountain
sends me down. What we can believe in
is lack of farmers. The Italian way
a poet faces death in writing death.

The hopes of seeing clearly in a dream
have taken all hopes of bones away, fish crawl
to market. Teenagers drink cappuccino,
send their parents letters home. The National
Park was left empty and sky moved to view.
What happens when we take this air away
and even fire falls?

One long road skims the mountain, igniting
the flakiness of gold. How could we hold
on here: anchored slowly, the sky and sun
never meet and might, even in this country,
go hungry. We sleep on heavy stone fences
looking heavy green. There is so little
to hold on to. Questions cave in. The bell
rings. The doorman is home for the night.
Even now, the women know it.

By Vanessa Gibson

Vanessa Gibson is a 23-year-old recent college graduate who studied English and philosophy, with a concentration in writing and poetry. She considers poetry to be one of the most beautiful expressions of not only language, but of the mind, body, and soul. She believes that poetry can allow us to write from the subconscious, to break down barriers, and to share an intimate slice of human connection. Her work has not been previously published, but she is striving to change that.

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