John Del Peschio

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On the subway
thinking of you with such longing
I looked up.
I thought why would I want to hold a door?
It would be hard to do,
hard and cold to feel.
And I thought open them, open them.
But a moment later I realized the sign maker
simply wanted me to let them go,
to let them close.
In my confusion
again I thought of you
and all that I misread:
your glance some speech,
a door held open?

For My Father

At the grave
what will lower you in
is an elevator made
by The Frigid Corporation.
Your casket’s cherry wood
so stated by a little tag.
After this
we’ll eat iceberg lettuce
at a place called Le Mirage.
My tears are real
but even they are self-aware, promotional,
playing the son
before this silent, unrelated crowd.
As an adult I disappeared from your heart
but lying beside you as a child
watching “Sea Hunt”
was my adventure.
A friend’s “Sea Cunt,”
after a stranger’s underwater kisses.
Sorry, Dad,
I hear rhymes
even when it’s inappropriate.
It’s automatic
like your need for wives.
I’ve always wanted men,
starting with you.
I have words.
They tickle me
as once
your hands.

Emily Dickinson

Nature held you
in a solitary room
whose windows were
enough of universe.
There you’d encode
anonymous creation,
illustrate loss
ably as sunset,
gauge with a gaze
the heart’s minutest jump.


John Del Peschio lives in Brooklyn Heights. His work has appeared in lodestarquarterly and modern words. He often walks past a wooden building that in the 1840s was a meniac's hairdressing parlor as he likes to think Whitman went there.