Hospital Series [Excerpt]

Severe the threefold sentences. En route with the archipelago we were
swept up by the current, inorganic event, land and sea spit
blood instead. As you split, I stared at myself in the vast 
archipelago that was my mind, very severe, logical,
desperate before so much void: a battle, two, three battles

lost. But the furor of our looks, you lantern
who thought to guide, I routed crank, but the furor
of these two looks of ours blocked: the victory taken for
granted the battle conquered the bandits stronger than us, the union 
of two souls a tarantella.


The unhappy moon bowed down in its lament.

Innocent rivulets, halfempty boats, the mountains’ lakes agape
premise that I should be yours, and obedient.


    Your aquarelles discomposed my
mind loquacious for the winterice. With the mess of
spring, storm-tossed ship, I cut footholds still
among the merry-go-rounds colored with cunning: your my
drowned treasure. The paintbrush sweetly shook
in the modesty of a hovel discomposed for the winter
that was a continual cruelty, a sleep of yours hidden
from my prayers, a straying from the railway
that often rather veered toward my head, reclining 
when there was light.

    And the light discomposing itself in equal parts evolved
economical colorations on the map of the railroadman.

    Pallid, enervated, irascible, you warded off swallows
while I painted on, equally enamored of 
nature and of my need.

From Locomotrix by Amelia Rosselli, edited and translated by Jennifer Scappettone. Copyright © 2012 by University of Chicago Press. Used by permission of the publisher.