[(symbol)’s really beautiful. When (symbol)’s standing in the trees]

Gabrielle Calvocoressi

[symbol] ’s really beautiful. When  [symbol] ’s standing in the trees
and thinks nobody sees whose.  [symbol] ’s like a stag.
Which sounds silly but  [symbol] is. The way the light shines


on whose. The way it bounces off whose hair
like spray from the sprinkler. And  [symbol]  doesn’t know.
Because  [symbol] ’s looking somewhere else.

 

Maybe up at a bird?       I was standing
and turned back because I heard
                                               whose whistling.


[symbol] thought I wasn’t listening.
                                               [symbol]  wasn’t thinking of me.
[symbol]  was looking at a bird


who was sitting in the tree
and looking back at whose.
                                               If whose shirt was off  [symbol] ’d


have been dappled golden by the sun
coming through the leaves.  [symbol]  didn’t notice me
watching whose without whose shirt on.


                                               [symbol]  was standing in the forest
                                               and the sun was coming
                                               through the trees and covering whose.


[symbol]  glowed.
I knew  [symbol] ’d be warm if I walked up and
touched whose. And probably not mad.
 

                                               [symbol] ’s like something in a movie
                                               or like a book we’d read in summer by the pool.
 

[symbol]  didn’t see me looking
because  [symbol]  was so peaceful
staring at the bird.

 

*Title should read: 
[symbol] ’s really beautiful. When  [symbol] ’s standing in the trees

More by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

A Word From the Fat Lady

It isn't how we look up close
so much as in dreams.

Our giant is not so tall,
our lizard boy merely flaunts

crusty skin- not his fault 
they keep him in a crate

and bathe him maybe once a week.
When folks scream or clutch their hair

and poke at us and glare and speak
of how we slithered up from Hell,

it is themselves they see:
the preacher with the farmer's girls

(his bulging eyes, their chicken legs)
or the mother lurching towards the sink,

a baby quivering in her gnarled 
hands. Horror is the company

you keep when shades are drawn.
Evil does not reside in cages.

Graves We Filled Before the Fire

Some lose children in lonelier ways:
tetanus, hard falls, stubborn fevers

that soak the bedclothes five nights running.
Our two boys went out to skate, broke

through the ice like battleships, came back
to us in canvas bags: curled

fossils held fast in ancient stone,
four hands reaching. Then two

sad beds wide enough for planting
wheat or summer-squash but filled

with boys, a barren crop. Our lives
stripped clean as oxen bones.

Rocket Fantastic [excerpt]

It's ridiculous what fame
can buy you. Not the beast
but the tiny, frightened
man who brings him
in a cage from Alhambra,
who stands in the doorway
as the three girls finish,
get off the bed and walk down 
to the pool, giggling as they pass.
The Bandleader borrowed
a tiger because we saw it 
in a reel the studio sent over,
some movie about a prince
that played against the wall
of the upstairs bedroom. 
Sometimes a girl would jump 
into the pool and the waves  
shimmered up. In the movie
the prince brings the tiger
to the castle and it rules
alongside him, "That's not 
believable," the Bandleader  
said and then, "Don't stop." 
And then, "Ah. Right there."
The prince would place his hand 
on the tiger's head and grab 
his hair in his fist and move 
it around. I liked to watch 
him start to want things, a wetness
forming in his mind. There were 
three girls squealing in the pool
and the waves  came up to us 
as ripples of light that I passed 
my fingers through, "You're blue 
with gold stripes," the Bandleader 
said, looking up at me 
but imagining the tiger beside him 
already, before he even  
reached for the phone.