Four Poems by Amy Soricelli

Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulpa by Aleksey Yesyunin
Anatomy lesson

The infinite wisdom of bones – how they know to merge together
and gather strength – the solid white flesh of its meaning.
Dusty ash shakes off from my skin -how strong it looks when i run.
See my slippery blood so smooth running down the length of me.
I open my glass mouth and it carries bubble words through a tunnel hollow/tubular.
We think we know what our bodies say in the deep crumpled sheets of ourselves.
I fold up square by square and close my arms wide gathering up
the me of who I am.
This freckled arm like a narrow map traces with the lightest touch
Its beginning and end – meeting at the edge of my wrist.
Wild thoughts in my minds’ eye will get sewn together with the loose threads of my hair.
My hands learn to touch before the wisdom of hope takes its greedy arms
and wraps it around my heart -strangles my neck full blown in turtleneck wool.
I strain to remember all of me in the loose trace of my skin.
If you peel back my eyelids to see inside my head – you would find landmarks and place setters deep in the earth;
criss-crossed wires with their honeycomb thoughts.

Half-Empty/Butter-Side Down

It is tempting to be happy.
To live on that satin smooth of the ribbon;
to have the belief of each new dawn,
substitute teacher.
It is promising to rise/chin up –
against the possibility of battle,
tease it with your red scarf;
sweet talk it with your fat arms of hope.
It collects itself in the bottom of the ledge-
misty fresh rain –
separated only by the single moment
you neglect to see the floating bug;
It’s hands up in defeat,
only halfway through the summer.

Colleen Murphy

Mary's mother crossed herself when they drove by a church or a cemetery
held her breath for the dead I was told -
collected their souls in the crumb-filled baggies at the bottom of her purse.
She wore black that whole summer her eldest brother died in Nam;
she scratched the surface of every day scabbing them over-
picking them apart.
Mary's mother held her breath at the morning news 
crushing tissues fiercely into the mad ball of her hands. 
White lace curtains in every room - 
she swept and dusted the shiny surfaces of thick wooden tables/chairs.  
The air was combed straight into thin shades of grey.
Mary's mother placed sugar cookies warm from the oven on a lacy flowered plate; 
looked at me hard - tilted her head, 
"eat" her expression said.
She watched me as I broke the cookies into two solid pieces;
the glassy slivers of sugar disappearing onto my tongue 
like they were never there.


Double Vision

My mother saw faces in everything.
The bathroom tiles would hold a Saint - complete with open mouth parted in warning -
hands crossed in prayer -
right there on the floor by the side of the tub near the wall.
We would be called from our deep holes of a bed and stand balancing on sleepy feet
searching between the random splashes of water that formed pools around our curling toes.
We saw nothing.
Angered, she would pour herself another glass of scotch and stare at the face until the cloudy shape became another.
Before long we shuffled back to bed our failure finding a space between the loose puzzle pieces of our bedroom.
Jesus once sat for two and a half hours on a crumpled paper bag in Poe Park.
We were shopping for Easter shoes for Danny and she wandered off following pigeons
into their spaces in the gazebo-
their lonesome hiding spots on building ledges behind bushes.
They spoke to her sometimes.
Danny would listen for hours - his anxious ears turned up to her urgings
but i gave up two years earlier when i realized they spoke to everyone.
And no one ever listened.
A crowd gathered at the benches;a group of bargain shoppers their elbows
competing for space sliding against each other anxious to see the screaming woman announcing that
He was there -
that if you looked 'here, here' -
if you stared down your own nose at the right angle - you would see Him.
He was there.
A Spanish mom with her two kids crossed herself furiously before deciding that there was nothing but
a Vieja Loca.
My mother cried that time - her eyes swirling around in her head;
she pulled at the blinking lights on her sweater that danced like sparklers on the fourth of july.
We never saw them.
The blinking lights.
Once - in church - the priest was talking in his low church voice -
eyes closed -
wailing front row ladies were bowing their hats feathers like soft silky strands in bright purple and gold.
My mother said the picture of the lost kid from the news had formed in the stained glass windows on the right side
by the chorus.
That he was there-
the lost kid -
and that it was a sign from God that he returned home.
All the church eyes drilled on my mother -
Danny crying as the people behind us pulled their kids away like we were made of fire.
Their eyes flash cards hatred peeling off my church coat like a grape.
People shook their heads at her - pointed their fingers -
their shame dancing around our feet like marbles rolling under the pews-
hiding under the kneelers.
The Priest handed a phone number to my grandmother -
their whispering voices covered the back of our heads like a slap.
The schoolyard faces were the worst.
My mother would come screaming from across the street
when the devil himself appeared wedged between the rungs of the slide
or sat waiting for us in the pool of water that carried popsicle sticks around and around
in the dusty Bronx rain.
We spent the next summer without friends holed up in our room watching the grainy re-runs on our black and white TV.
We stabbed at our closets and curled ourselves into balls.
My mother saw faces in everything.
Eyes, lips, all breathing there like an extra heart.

Amy Soricelli has been in the world of higher education and staffing her entire professional career. A LinkedIn Guru and lifelong Bronx resident, she has been published in camelsaloon, versewrights, Cantos, poetrybay, Blue Mirror, Turbulence, The Blind Vigil Review, Little Rose, and have appeared in assorted anthologies…….and way back in the 70’s …won the Grace A Croff Memorial Award for Poetry.