On the beach a classic rock band
plays to the ocean and the sand –
guitars and bass sit on bloated bellies
salt air and heat stiffen gray pony tails
flip-flops tap time to a classic beat.
A thin browned woman holds a drink
her skin creased and evenly striped
swishes her frail skeleton in rhythm and winks
to a man in the crowd that seems her type –
her river-like veins swirling under a tiny skirt.
The man leaves a scented trail of gin
and lotion to join her flirting, his skin
flaking on a sweaty face, fake white teeth,
cracked toe-nails on bare feet
consumed from dancing in the sand.
Far from voices singing along,
fading between sand and sun,
a sailboat tangos with the wind
on its stage of timeless water
and dips its frail moth wings.
Professore di Poesia
He beats out foreplay
eleven pats with his hand
his lust for Petrarch
is an hendecasyllable fuck.
He strips his sonnets
thrashes in and out
each phrase with a pace
his dead moon face
sputters in time
humping out rhymes.
He says the foot and the iamb
are all that we’ve got – slams
his fist at questions for meaning –
“Just count and you’ll feel
the form that is there.”
He licks his finger, turns the page
sucks in air, disengaged
blinks with the sound
as he counts and pounds
his insatiable lust
for an hendecasyllable fuck.
Lily Prigioniero graduated from University of Michigan in English Literature then moved to Florence, Italy, where she was certified as an art restorer to work on some of Tuscany’s greatest fresco masters. She received her MFA at Università di Siena where her novel, La Cena del Tacchino, was awarded publication and won the “Premio Selezione” for the international literary prize Anguillara Città d’Arte in Rome. She has taught writing and art conservation in study abroad programs for NYU, Brandeis, and the Florence University of the Arts. She lives with her family near Florence.