There’s still a gap between your hunger
and your hubris; still a coffee cup
in the right hand propped
between your legs’ courtly spreadeagle.
Your eyes are thinning to pin-striped slits,
the eyeballs under their lids
are twin fetuses at nine months
waiting to roll. I see, with a jolt,
the Arabs in Sicily. I see a man lathered
with none of his own expectation.
Joe, your hair wave is blacker than the shoals
of Isula dî Fìmmini. It curls at me
like the mast-tips of a fishing fleet
sliding over the trough-and-climb
of an October storm, like a torn ligament
spilling from a jitney, like a death harder to reach
than the edge of an impossibly deep center
or deeper left field.
~ ~ ~
Tom Daley leads writing workshops at the Online School of Poetry, Boston Center for Adult Education, and Lexington Community Education. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals including Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Witness, Massachusetts Review, Harvard Review, and Poetry Ireland Review and have been anthologized in the Poets for Haiti and The Body Electric anthologies. He is a recipient of 2012 Dana Award in Poetry and the author of a play, Every Broom and Bridget—Emily Dickinson and Her Irish Servants, which he performs as a one-man show.