the museum of americana

a literary review

Somewhere in America — Poetry by Mike Pantano

 
You were rock and I was water,
we both knew our place in the world.
We understood how
a dry field can catch fire
in a lightning storm,
how blue skies over Kansas
could be interpreted as dream,
wheat swaying for a thousand miles
grain silos blazing in the sun
grunt and wheeze of an old Ford pickup
spitting smoke and spark,
coming over a hill at sundown,
one darkened headlight dangling
from a nest of loose wires,
everyone looking up from rocking chairs,
the last white clouds of laundry
floating in the yard, the locusts
starting to make noisy love,
children upstairs doing homework,
you coming from the barn
about to ring the dinner bell,
pulling gloves off, me melting
watching you through the screen door,
stirring the stew setting the table
tucking gray hairs behind ears
checking myself in the mirror
smoothing the wrinkles from my skirt.
 
 
 
~ ~ ~

Mike Pantano lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio. He wrote his first poems on a Smith-Corona typewriter. When first out of college, he worked at a small printing company as a proofreader, but in fact used his employment there to transfer his poems onto typeset galleys so he could see what a published poem would look like in a book, experimenting with different fonts. Since then, he has become as interested in the visual structure of a poem as much as the imagery and tonal resonance. He has poems in forthcoming issues of San Pedro River Review, Flint Hills Review, and Third Wednesday.