Facial Recognition


        kept from mourning tata
                  (well-meaning grown-ups finding grief too raw)
i opened in my mind a journey to his everlasting life

.          small face expanding
        under such overwrite
                  that no outward mark betrayed the wound beneath the skin

        mother’s death memorialized
you see
        this crease above my eyebrow that dammed uncivil flood

.                    so   the child    the dog         the spouse
        not be awash in that torrential
                  tree-toppling flood

        deep channels running alongside mouth
for all the times laughter burst out like huddled bird
                  sprung skyward

and these   grooves like rake marks above
        beneath my lips
ah                I have kissed and kiss and (sand not running out) will kiss


Putting on Weight

        until i lived here
i lived in innocence

        no fear of ticks
kept me from the long grasses

        no dark suspicions
made water solid beneath my palm or sole

        coupled new leaves
were glued together by love    not greenworms

.          each road edge
was unlined      like a young face      without the triad poison

.          perhaps we      despite our settling
long subcutaneously for bliss of relocation

        perhaps the weight of so much known
will fly as elemental particles in that last firing


Anca Vlasopolos published the award-winning novel The New Bedford Samurai; the award-winning memoir No Return Address: A Memoir of Displacement; four collections of poems, Often Fanged Light (forthcoming, Adelaide Books, 2019), Cartographies of Scale (and Wing) (2015); Walking Toward Solstice (2012); and Penguins in a Warming World (2007); three poetry chapbooks, a detective novel, Missing Membersand nearly three hundred poems and short stories in literary journals.