Canvas, glass, wood, books—
I should have let it all burn.
without sense or reason.
The books were a nightmare, you said,
as well as the picture you'd
painted of an apple split
down the middle to reveal its star—
I thought you wouldn’t know there is
in the center of an apple unless you were shown
a thing like that, or maybe
if you were distracted: looking
out the kitchen window
with fruit and knife in hand, the gladiolas more vibrant
you remembered seeing them. You forget
that you were about to peel the skin
and without realizing—
sliced it. And
just like a child, you stared
at the star you created,
its almond-shaped points like tiny
mouths, eyes, or
something other than half an apple
balanced proudly on your palm
until the adult in you whispers:
It’s already begun to brown,
and you toss it
into the garbage
to be burnt
with the rest of
© Maria Lupinacci
PRIVATE n. 38 stories from the USA Autumn 2007
Segmenting the Caterpillar
Sometimes, there is a body without eyes
and vertebrae. You see it lying there:
heap of fascia on browned
so dead it scares the hell out of you.
And you run like a child, run so far you forget,
this will haunt you
one day, phantom your dreams,
carry you back
to the place where you first saw it,
felt your insides as something real,
the site of that body in the sallow
the room with the broken door,
I leave you this:
Baloney curls and ugly sheets,
devils dancing in the paneling
“Come with me,
come with me.”
A picture folded and placed
on the bed of the child who floats on
I snapped it, just as the light started to recede.
And the mice,
I leave you the mice--
scratching, their tiny toe nails
that I plucked out, one-at-a-time.
You will find them in the closet,
the summer towels
and out-grown things, they’ve kept
She was on the cover:
the outline of her cheek smudged
almost invisible into the setting.
noticed how edgeless
papers have become? Midway through the words
you’ve lost the story, so you flip back
the picture, the one on the cover
and you look at it, you look at her–
seraphic with molting wings,
she had already fallen
away from herself, as if
those wings had ever really existed.
© Maria Lupinacci
Published in Wicked Alice Poetry Journal - Fall 4th Anniversary Issue 2005
This is not About You
or the things we forgot
to discuss, or the things we discussed
lips faded into our faces
and our eyes
couldn’t take another look at whatever it was
that held us at attention.
like how I am
sitting here, fingers positioned at the keyboard
you getting out of the shower.
not that you’ve chosen the towel
that drapes your waist just enough
to make me type something crazy, something
There is a trail that leads from navel to pelvis.
Memo: That is not an opening line!
So I draw back
to Li Xiangting’s zither
serenade of strings
and focus on the screen:
cursor skittishly flashing as if it has lost
its patience with
And I think to myself I am going to write
something worthy of literal importance
Dynamics: the study of objects in motion.
There is a bead of water dangling
from your nipple
ring, its life dependent on the depth
of your breath and my ability
is about writing
and something I will later delete.
© Maria Lupinacci 2005
Published in US 1 Publications Summer Fiction Issue - August
For the Love of Word
In the house, the room reeks of Camphor,
the walls are copper. Theatrical to a degree
but not fully, not in the
of the theater, its complete exaggeration,
scenes recreated and dramatized.
There is a poet I am reading--
is fighting Jupiter, playing a Gypsy’s Cello,
strumming symphonies in allegro--
Demons are a state of mind
he quotes. I believe him.
We all have our moments--
light and dark, the forever
pressed into a page
to later become a rotted rose
marking the time we once lived.
And on this, we
drink sour wine and recite Rimbaud.
The rich embrace us for our expressionism,
the beauty of nakedness;
plumes rise from our feet
to cleanse their skeletons--
they think us gods.
Love, loss, existence:
the devil dressed
in black tie,
limbs and mouth flaring,
innards worn as sequins to dress
up some whore’s poem
Somehow it all leads to deliverance.
© Maria Lupinacci 2005