… pleasure …

Don’t listen to anyone. Trust what gives you pleasure. Trust the emotions. If you love something but can’t explain why, that’s enough.

– Calice Becker


To Celebrate My Body

you had only
to touch me
other had
to present a history
a bibliography,
a justification but no question
that a gift
easily given
lightly received
is wasted no one can
touch me
the way
you can/ I should say
did but no question
your touch
was not lightly
taken and
my body
has spent
a lot of years
awakening too long
in fact
to stop
the process your touch
across the ocean. My imagination
has never
been poor; but
cannot extend
to a life
where touching
comes only
in a letter Celebrate
the word.
are both
taking the world
seriously but the word
can only
give life
if it acknowledges
the lips
the mouth that made it the body
that pumped the
sounding air where
you had only
to touch me
others had
to present a history
a bibliography,
a justification the touch
comes first
is the last thing you
after you
the light
at night.

– Diane Wakoski


Goldfish Are Ordinary

At the pet store on Court Street,
I search for the perfect fish.
The black moor, the blue damsel,
cichlids and neons. Something
to distract your sadness, something
you don’t need to love you back.
Maybe a goldfish, the flaring tail,
orange, red-capped, pearled body,
the darting translucence? Goldfish
are ordinary, the boy selling fish
says to me. I turn back to the tank,
all of this grace and brilliance,
such simplicity the self could fail
to see. In three months I’ll leave
this city. Today, a chill in the air,
you’re reading Beckett fifty blocks
away, I’m looking at the orphaned
bodies of fish, undulant and gold fervor.
Do you want to see aggression?
the boy asks, holding a purple beta fish
to the light while dropping handfuls
of minnows into the bowl. He says,
I know you’re a girl and all
but sometimes it’s good to see.
Outside, in the rain, we love
with our hands tied,
while things tear away at us.

– Stacie Cassarino

There was a day …

There was a day
when I was an equation of one.
and you were the same.
each of us spinning, individually in our own worlds.
and then, we collided with the force of a thousand stars.
the sparks, oh they flew.
lighting fires everywhere they fell.
and then we were two, together.
the moon and the tide.
you became the thing i knew best.
and it filled our lungs and bodies and hearts until there were no more crevices left to reach
and she became of the excess
brown eyes and a brave heart
and the spillover of all our new found purpose and love
handed us a baby boy too.
fate just plunked him down in our arms
and we looked at each other and at them with dizzy amazement
(and a little disbelief)
It started from something so small.
two individuals in their own worlds
until a crash created a life
It’s hard to believe sometimes
that we made all of this
that we were one, then two, then three and now four.
a family.


Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

— William Wordsworth