Ten Poems by Leonardo Dellarocca

I was young
so I thought my parents lived
before there was light
in Brooklyn
where each day a man came
in his horse and wagon
selling rags, peppers or ice
before telephones brought news
of my cousin's strange birth,
something in her mouth, the roof,
was missing
I'd put my tongue up to mine
imagined a hole,
a darkness going all the way back
to the back of my eyes
And so in `65 when the entire
Northeast blacked out,
my father knew what to do
having lived at a time when radio
had Roosevelt on it,
when all cars were black
My sister's radio crackled
that even the Empire State Building was dead,
stood there like a giant
trapped in its own
blindness full of little people
scampering up and down the
stairwells with flash lights
saying "My God, there are
people in the elevators"
And there were
We had the full moon
that night, smiling up there
needed at last
after all those years of electricity
But the only thing we could do
was sit in the dark parlor
Finally, the static from
the transistor
scratched the air so much
my father got up
went outside
I watched him get in the
station wagon
pull it up onto the front lawn
facing the house,
put the brights on
flooding the room
where we stood lined up
in the light