Prisco, Mark

New Zealand, (fl. 2015-present)

death and after

  1. Those weeks alone in her flat were difficult.
  2. It was cold and I got sick after the funeral.
  3. I had sat on a plane for hours, straight and
  4. by the time I wound the tortuous roads in-
  5. land to up-stream Latium, I had been
  6. on the road, for about 40 hours. It was good
  7. to get clean at last and eat the rough Sabine food,
  8. a hot winter soup and hard bread and beans and pork,
  9. and good drink. I got dropped off and opened her door
  10. for the first time in more than a year. There was
  11. no-one there and I felt, what? I slept on her bed
  12. curled in a ball. I was cold but I slept like the dead –
  13. good, down for the first time in two days. I saw her
  14. lying flat in the morning, flowers on her breast;
  15. and later at the church and last, the beautiful
  16. cemetery by the monastery of St Francis
  17. at Fontecolombo: the Dove’s Fountain. The ceremony
  18. of a digger filling the grave troubled me. A friend
  19. put her arm round me, and later in the week she came
  20. with her husband to see me, and I was so out of it,
  21. nodding on the chair, laughing occasionally.
  22. I remember. The family doctor had been… supportive.
  23. It was cold and not quite winter. The end of November –
  24. when pigs btw get slaughtered. She used to run, run
  25. from the farm as a little girl and block her ears.
  26. I understand this and try hard not to care.
  27.  
  28. I want to tell her now that she is not a cold
  29. set of bones buried underground in her soiled
  30. gown. It’s for the scientist to strip us down,
  31. bare of, or to a bare root of, meaning. We dig
  32. past the facts I think. But, they write the books
  33. I will read some day, dying and senile, and declare
  34. my atheism in support, a last stupid act
  35. of defiance. Now, I want to tell her that she lives
  36. for real and for good – not just in some metaphor
  37. I thought up, which is really nothing at all. I recall
  38.  
  39. one morning how the wind cut through my clothes
  40. on my way to see, vaguely, an office clerk in town.
  41. I had to take care of some business, a lot more
  42. than I care for. Friend, I felt so cold. Those weeks
  43. in the flat are like a dream to me now. I disposed
  44. of her clothes. You know how that feels, or imagine.
  45. I kept her winter shawl and her dressing gown. Took them
  46. home.
  47.  
  48. 11 October 2015

 Mark Prisco. New Zealand Poetry at https://poetry.org.nz/. 13/01/2016.

About the Poet:

Mark Prisco, New Zealand, (fl. 2015-present) is a poet and, as of October 2017, an honours student of English Literature at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Prisco has published regularly at New Zealand Poetry, a website as an avenue for Kiwi Poets to post, share and publish to.

He has also had poems included in Issue Four and Issue Five of MAYHEM. Mayhem publishes new works of creative prose and poetry from students, staff and Alumni of the University of Waikato and its partner institutions and also accepts submissions from writers around Aotearoa New Zealand. [DES-03/18]

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.