sleeping beauties

Michael Passafiume


They said,There’s light there.
I said, Where?
Just keep goingyou’ll see it.
You mean at the end?
You ask too many questions, they said.
And you ask too few.

 

*

 

All roads lead here:
that’s what my next tattoo
is going to say;
I just haven’t decided
on whose lips it’ll be etched.

 

*

 

They said,She’s a beauty, isn’t she?
Yes, I stammered. Yes, she is.
Go ahead, touch her.
And I peeled back my fingerprints
like bloodied gloves at a crime scene.
You do want to touch her, don’t you?
You ask too many questions, I said.

 

*

 

Most days I’m okay.
I awake to light streaming in
through half-shuttered blinds,
think, I can do this.
My coffee cup is half-full,
chest a rosebud waiting
to unfurl.

 

*

 

She’s asleep, they said.
Aren’t we all?
And before I can take
another step, a deep rumbling
beneath my feet, sky splits
open with a vengeance,
as if God finally
has something to say.

 

*

 

Look, alls I know is
my first kiss
still circles the cosmos,
every time I hear
I love you
it’s like being born again,
and the tragedy of the fallen
is that they’ll wait forever
for someone to tell them
to get up.

 


Michael Passafiume has been a Brooklyn, NY-based writer for the better part of the last 24 years. He lived briefly in Chicago (too windy), Long Beach, CA (too sunny) and Philadelphia (it’s complicated) – always returning to the crowded, noisy, expensive city he grudgingly admits is home (at least for now). 

Michael’s poetry has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, The Bleeding Lion, MadHat Lit, Rust + Moth and SLAB, among others. His chapbook, archipelagos, was published by Blue Hour Press in 2015. Another chapbook, I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams, was a quarterfinalist for the Mary Ballard Poetry Prize for 2015 from Casey Shay Press. By day he’s a freelancer for the corporate communications group at a large financial services firm and he also serves as faculty for Antioch University Los Angeles’ Inspiration2Publication program with a course called What the House Has to Say: Memoir as Poetry.