The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Jeremy Casabella

S-P-A-G-E-T-T-I, Spaghetti

 

Before losing the spelling bee
I forgot my show and tell.
I wanted to bring a transformer
that changes into a microscope
but could barely find a word.

"Last night my grandpa
died of a zuccinni-innia" I said.

I was known for this.
The kid who'd eat attention
over anything and couldn't spell—
who counted letters on his thingers.

Zuccinni I thought must
taste like letting go or mothballs
in the sheets from a weeklong hospice.

What did I know between vegetables
or sickness but the small inside
that grows like a swallowed needle?

 

 

Jeremy Casabella

Unititled (for myself)

 

A sick dove balding,
doe-eyed with cataracts
landed on my balcony.

The phone rings and rings, no answer.

My bigger brother is 30 and in the hospital.
It's been a decade since we talked.

The dove looks disoriented gazing out beyond itself
bald with a pug-wrinkled face
unknowing.

There's something wrong with his heart, I don't know what.... too many Red Bulls,
a predisposition.

I can’t tell if it has wings.
Does it have wings?

I get a case of the hang ups.

What I’m really upset about are all those comics.
A hundred issues, some annuals, a first print graphic novel.

Right! Like I’d just give them to you asshole.

As kids we fed pigeons and ducks at SSU,
caught crawdads and alligator lizards.

Do they even like comics?
The dove bobs a few times then coos.

The phone rings louder then
to speak for our mother.

She says the surgery's a "smooth breeze." They sent you home already;
sooner than I can thank your dove,

which is of course gone.

 

 

 

JEREMY CASABELLA lives in Bakersfield, CA where he teaches Composition and Literature part time. He writes short stories, poetry, and pwoermds. His most recent poems have appeared in Eclipse Literary Journal, Shot Glass, The Ekphrastic Review, Route 7, and Vinyl. His pwoermding is featured in the anthology The Wisdoms of the Universes in a Single String of Letters, from Xexoxial Editions, and online via Twitter: @JCasabella1.

 

 

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