Trackside Commissary
Ann Cefola

August 7, 2014


Every night men on line avoid commuter eyes,
while women restlessly dig into their purse,
bartender’s face ellipsing what’s ahead—red, immobile, already dead. 

Descendant of upended goblets, amber gold, clear proofs, fruited reds,
sometimes I taste home so fast my empty glass shocks friends.
Daughter of two from a transatlantic chain to British Isles and France,

I envy narrowing life to swallow and burn.
Next day, always sadder—what they rarely knew.
Nervous teetotaler, who barely escapes, I do.

Their thirst, my body: curious, rampant and not so smart,
which imagines stepping up to the line—that part.

Instead I speed toward long black tunnels,
half-filled aluminium trains that snort and spark,
close my eyes for the 10-minute ride from dark to dark.


Ann Cefola is the author of St. AgnesPink-Slipped (Kattywompus Press, 2011), Sugaring(Dancing Girl Press, 2007) and translator of Sanguinetti’s second book, Hence this Cradle(Seismicity Editions, 2007).  She won a Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency from the Santa Fe Arts Institute and the Robert Penn Warren Award judged by John Ashbery. 

What motivates her to create:
“Creating is more like eating or sleeping, a necessity rather than something that requires motivation.  Not as natural as breathing or blinking, it requires listening, stillness, and craft. When some moments resonate on a deeper, fuller and richer level than those in ordinary time, I have already entered the poem.”