On Notice, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

On Notice

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

At a moment’s notice

You’re on notice.

Did you notice that?

It may come person to person,

Or deer to person, or hawk to person,

You might receive notice in the mail–

It might be short notice,

Advanced notice,

Official notice,

It might be public notice,

Or you might be noticed in secret by a shadow, or the moon.

However it comes, whatever its nature,

Take it as best you can, for rest assured

One day you will be put on notice,

Or you will put notice on yourself—whichever it is—

There may not be further notice.

Keep in mind there are notes in every notice–

Musical notes that just want to be seen and heard and played.

For all noticings are musical by nature, every time

You notice another, the soul dances.

The thing to remember is this:

 

Nothing goes without notice forever.

When death comes with her eviction notice,

You will have no choice but to sit up and take it.

 

I notice your eyes,

The slight tilt of your face,

I notice you breathing on these words

Giving them life.

 

 

 


 

 

 




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I Cannot Say I Loved Him

I Cannot Say I Loved Him
By
Joseph Anthony Petro

 

 
He’s been with me since the beginning.
I’d look in the mirror and he would be there
Staring blankly at my chest or arms,
I’d slip into my pajamas and he would be waiting
To chase me in my dreams,
He would mock me from the corners
Of rock star posters and porn magazines,
I’d see him in the backgrounds of cigarette ads
And truck commercials shaking his head and frowning,
He would stand looking over my shoulder
When I drew pictures or wrote in my diary
Whispering the words or tracing the lines
He felt were out of place or too sensitive,
And yet I stuck with him–following him
Just as much as he followed me,
I would carry his shoes and try to fill them,
I based my carriage on how he walked,
I built up a story of what he expected of me,
How he thought I should look, speak, and move,
I noticed how other people saw him
And tried to be him in their eyes;
And even though he lied and shamed
He was there when no one else was—
He never left me, never tired of offering
Advice on how I could better myself—
His lies were loyal, his sarcasm tinged with fraternal care.
Yet I cannot say I loved him
Even though he led me this far,
Even though in certain respects
I chose him as my shadow.
All I know is the more the truth is revealed
Of why I am here and who I am meant to be
The more he fades away in the illuminated fog,
The more I listen to the angel calling my name
The more he grows distant and small,
The more I move towards her voice
The more he vanishes in the light of her song,
The more I adopt her freedom and beauty
The closer he comes to scattering into a thousand drops of ink
And finding himself being absorbed into the fabric
Of the merciful, moon-swept night.

 

 


 

 

 

 





In Your Own Time

In Your Own Time
For Frani
By Joseph Anthony Petro

 
In the shadow of trees
The owl glides over the moonlit marsh, like a dream.
Fireflies drift into shadow-dappled fields, like
A slow carnival of stars.
Bats break free from the shadow-shawled branches, like
Pieces of darkness fluttering through the sky.
It is alright to live in the shadows.
Candles and gold are brightest there.
It is also alright—more than alright-
To burst forth from the shadows, like
Morning through the trees,
To climb over riverbanks and spread over the shore
Perfectly imperfect—loving the shadows
For who they are, knowing their purpose is pure
As midnight, pure as cricket song, pure
As the talons of the owl as it blossoms from the darkness
And descends, joyously, full of hunger,
Towards the object of her desire.
It is alright—it is more than alright
To be who and what you are—
No matter the shadows, no matter the light—
The fields of the world
Await the beating of your wings.