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Stacy Del Gallo Dec 2012
7 months, 210 days
30 weeks until you arrive
in my arms- new to the world;
new to me, part of me
as no one else has been
or will be.

I cannot feel you inside me, tiny one-
though I know you are
barely the size of my thumb.

Each moment you become
more of yourself
as I am, as we all are-

when you are born you will open your eyes
for that first glance, first breath,
first moment in the world
and you will remember it,
etch it deep in your treasure chest of firsts;
first kiss first car first job,
cherish it like I cherish each day I carry you.

I'll live here, breathe here for the last 7 months
210 days, 30 weeks until you become my gravity
and push me up
up up until I reach the tippy top
and greet the light that must certainly
be waiting.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
Darkness covers the mine
and every color falls to the
bullet of black. Fingers,
numb and cold
continue to claw along
jagged edges of
granite and mica
toward the faintest
dream of light.

Teeth struggle to grind
meals of bitter coal
broken into tiny parts.

There is solace in
those few moments
when eyes may shut
and lush green landscapes
invade the murky quiet.  

They will not imagine
death in a place
darker than the grave
as bodies fight fading
into a cleft of
Earth's damp pit.

They emerge,
covered in soot
and eyes tear as
light penetrates every cell,
as magnificent as the first time
they ever noticed the sun,
then a glorious gust of wind,
like God was blowing a kiss.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
Slowly he stirs her,
strokes her cheek feather light,
softly rouses her roaming eyes
from under lid.
They open slowly,
like heavy blinds.

He shines into her,
a shadow in the soft spotlight
of the moon, body bare
but beautiful as it hovers over her.

She takes a long breath,
so close to his lips she can
taste salt from summer heat
and he waits, he waits for her
hands to slide down his back,
fingers to bind into trenches of flesh,
toes to curl and coo in anticipation.

He brushes her lips with his,
paints a path of purple,
red, and blue down her torso.

She smiles and nuzzles her nose
into his neck, happy to be a canvas
long into morning.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
From the 15th floor snow flurries
seem like static on an epic TV screen.
Flakes flutter and collide,
fighting for their perfect flight
to earth. Some are blown onto
the window sill, slowly sizzle into
nothing but a temporary dark spot,
others are carried up into the sky by
gusts of Chesapeake wind.
Some land on cold car tops
and Canton roof decks,
others bring color to chilly cheeks.
Soon the entire Baltimore landscape
is lightly sprinkled white.

Coworkers smile and watch our
first winter scene. I roll my eyes
and curse the creeping cars
I will encounter on the drive home.
Stacy Del Gallo Aug 2013
You move through the hallway
tile by tile; step by cautious step
as you explore every
sound the scooter makes;
every moment new and

You tiptoe, dip your toes down
and lightly dust the floor,
skim it like the first time in
the shallow pool of the bath.

Then you step, push,
slide down the hall
leaving care in your wake
like discarded cheerios and
chewed up apple bits.

You stop, smile at
this new secret
the world whispered
as I lift you up into my arms.
Stacy Del Gallo Dec 2012
Baltimore is the way we left it-
buzzing, reaching its arms out
like branches of a small tree.

Our tree was rooted in soft mud;
did not take much to topple down.
We chopped at the bone until the
core was cut.
No blood was shed, no blood
but so many tears.
Stacy Del Gallo Mar 2010
In our subset of society we
worship sweet caramel syrup and
double tall soy lattes with extra foam
and extra shots of whatever
can keep us pumping through
marathon long meetings
where we meddle
in our market’s perception
of health savings accounts,
a muddle of mindless
power point presentations
and persistent pencil tapping
on a cold granite table top.

We cannot blame the
young baristas with tattooed
arms and early morning
smiles for simply slipping
us the goods- we must blame
the comfortable coffee pushing
peddlers with heavy pockets,

the evil executives
who sit in their soft leather
armchairs and export
expensive beans from South America.

They empty our leather wallets
but fill our bladders;
offer less calories for
a slightly heavier price-
only $4.15 for a Grande
Caramel Frapuccino Light,
so many in our stomach
that we undoubtedly
will email ourselves into a
caffeine induced coma.

If we could see the constant account
debiting that swarms cyberspace-
millions of dollars transferring
between molecules-
we would drown in
the onslaught of dollar bills into
the hungry
Starbucks black hole that is
never full.
Stacy Del Gallo Mar 2010
Tanks tear through
flaming towns- a
mother shielding bullets.

The world erupts and
he is alive in a sea of
broken bodies.

In his tattered tent,
late-night he
is broken too.

He touches me
like I was
shattered glass

as his fingers braid
my loose strands:
assemble, disassemble.

The scent of sawdust
and powder lingers
on his ashy skin.

I inhale and
hold him,
Stacy Del Gallo Mar 2010
Amidst the mosaic
of fall’s vibrant finale,
in motley piles of brown,
red, and green
she performs each of her steps
like a frantic symphony,
stomping a storm of leaves
onto the street- each one
crumbling and crackling
beneath her feet.
She laughs with limbs flailing,
leaf bits sailing
in the cool November air.
She pushes and kicks,
whooshes and picks the perfect
spot of soil for her creation.

Once her leafy
blanket has piled high,
she takes a few steps back,
breaths in, and dives.
Stacy Del Gallo Dec 2012
deep in the sweaty
jungle of my brain
as I sleep on silk down
you smiled at me, and
I loved you as I have not
loved any man in
many years; felt
that pang that pained me
in high school as I fell in love
again and
again and

I followed you
through scores of doors
and crowded rooms as
you led me away.

Everything was familiar-
the light yellow wall paper,
scuffed marble floors,
dark hair, deep blue eyes
and wonderful soft lips-
so familiar but still,
a stranger;
a quiet indulgence
that leaves me energized,
elated at the memory
of panicked butterflies
in a long rusted cage.

I feel it all rush out of me
alone in the quiet of the dark
alone but seeping, silently
clawing the sheets.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
It looks like a house.
It has four walls and a roof,
windows dressed in brightly
colored curtains and
an American Flag
blowing out front

but the tarnished cement on
the walkway, the chipped paint
on the front door,
the broken screen,
the overgrown garden
and the lonely lawn chairs
warn that this is not a house.

Mountains of memories plague
every opening-
obstruct any attempt
to walk from room to room.

A two hundred dollar telescope
sits cold and unused
in the dining room buried
in the middle of papers and
bills never paid.

The shower stands naked- pipes
showing beneath a clumsily placed
plastic bag. Tiles peel and hope
to be uprooted away from
cat litter thrown from untidy pets.

Closets shelter coats long
out of fashion and toddler
toys unfit for a now
12 year old boy.

He comes home
from school,
sits down
and sighs.

He does his homework
on the floor- his desk
buried beneath old children's
books and computer paper.

There is a couch that sits
bare in the living room with
cushions stained and
sunken in- holding
place for a heavy body that
lounges with eyes shut.

My mother dances around it all,
feet feeling for holes
to fit into from kitchen
to bathroom to bed.

Her path is formed like
footprints in snow.

She sleeps surrounded by
discarded perfume bottles
and dresses three
sizes too small.

A small black urn
sits sadly beneath
a battered TV-
if only he could
watch her from beneath
the debris.

The washer and dryer still clean
her clothes and the bathroom still
washes away sweat from busy days-

But she knows this is not a house.

No more dinner parties
with familiar faces.

No more meals
served on the kitchen table-
now a holding place for boxes
and unopened presents
from holidays past.

No more sleep over parties
in the basement- comfy couches
now corroded by seven years
of mold and wreckage
from a small flood.

No more Christmas tree
dimly lighting
the living room since
a Best Buy box
now occupies its space-
broken down
and filled with forgotten pogs
and Pokemon videos.

The house holds it all
up with accepting planks
and brick- it is stronger
than she is.

Secretly she wishes the
house would fall down.
Secretly she wishes
she would be inside it.

Sometimes I want
to bring flowers to lay
in front of this messy grave,

But my family still breathes
inside the tomb
that they’ve made.
Stacy Del Gallo Dec 2012
Experience is as satisfying as a double whiskey sour
as a tired director tours middle america on foot:
a drifter doused in the aroma of greasy roadside diners,
sullying his brown suede boots in gritty mud and mica.

He thinks he is real american- as he scavenges
inspiration from a photo of a lone tree,
an overweight waitress,
a broken down motorcycle...

A small depression in the ***** pavement
is the most famous footprint most towns have seen;
they come and go as quickly as passing cars;
as quickly as fame and infamy.

He thumbs his way from
state to state, picked up in nowhere Ohio by
a passing Van filled with a burgeoning indie band.

They discuss irony, old films and a mutual
dislike of disco as the van storms past town after town.
The band tours the country looking for fame
as he tears from town to town attempting to forget it.
Stacy Del Gallo Mar 2010
As the happy hour crowd
walks down Redwood Street
in its ***** lamp lit haze

they pass by dozens of
cart pushing men in
old bomber jackets
fading into the
unwashed stone beneath
windows newly washed
by minimum wagers.

These men and their
overstuffed suitcases,
their ***** fingernails
and aging shoes,
their cold noses
and heavy breath
seep into the shadows
like long forgotten artifacts
on an antique store’s shelf.
They droop, collecting dust,
begging to be lifted or even

Some smile and sing
with an overturned hat
patiently expecting
on the street curb.

Some sit, slumped
and seem like
a misshapen lump of clay
in the dark
with plastic cup extended.

The happy hour crowd
coming from UMMC
clad in multicolored
scrubs and pressed
business suits with
golf club cluttered ties
and black silk button down
blouses that block the cool wind
passes them by with the same
glance they give to
lamp posts.
Stacy Del Gallo Dec 2012
She teaches her body to ache for him
move for him and dress for him
reject the familiar banter and comfort
in knowing he is close.
She banishes familiar kisses
to muster the mystery
that moistens her;
she loves him but she has
each molecule committed to memory.

This is love, yes
but she must back pedal a bit,
clear the air to feel the ping in her inner pit
when he comes near-
just like it was, just like it used to be
before they occupied each others’ hearts.

When he was just a body at the bar.
When he was just a dark haired conquest.
When she was just a hungry girl.
Feed me, she says.
Feed me.
Stacy Del Gallo Jun 2010
You hold it, have it,
but do not hang it
over me. You tuck it
away in a careful corner
of your heart, remember
that it's there
but hide it as one of
the many promises we
made to each other.

You keep it so I cannot touch it
cannot look at it
or feel its cold reminder.
You soften the sting,
hidden from the world-
myself even-

You saw my weeds
and you
gathered them,
bouqueted them,
owned them,
watched them bloom
and for that I will always
love you.
Stacy Del Gallo Mar 2010
I have fondled addiction,
ran my young fingers around its
moist mouth, inhaled its deep
aroma that lightens my steps,
sours my breath.

I have brushed my finger
on the top of it, tasted
its deviously sweet side-
lips slightly parched
and aching for more.

I have never dove in
head first, been blinded
by the darkness at the bottom,
but I have waded on the surface,
feet slowly descending
until I pull them up.
Stacy Del Gallo Mar 2010

Your son and his roommate
do not need permission to
sign the lease on their apartment.

They do not need permission
to show up sweaty and
smiling at Sunday dinner-
some men like to jog.

Your son may dress
nicer than you taught him-
but your son and his roommate
do not need permission to
shop at Banana Republic.

He may have asked permission
to get his first car (a Paseo)
and to join the little league baseball team
but he did not need permission
to buy matching suits at prom.

Patricia, would you have given your son
permission to release himself
if every inch of him loved
every inch of

He does not need permission
to feel loved-
but he would like it.
Stacy Del Gallo Mar 2010
Poetry does not want to be quiet;
silent and simple in black type.

Scream your poetry!
Dance it, feel it
between your fingers.

Run with it, carry it
with you under your skin.

Smell it! Is it sweet or ****
between syllables?

Does it speak to you?

Poetry is not calm and sedated.
Animator of all things,
guardian of history;
holder of hearts.

Poetry moves through molecules-
molds meaning in the mundane.
Don’t leave it soundless in the dark.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
We were so ecstatic waiting for the wind
to wind its way through the trees--
there was an electricity in the air,
a charged warning.

We sat on the porch guarded by
oversized hoodies
and a wooden awning--
smoked bowls and snickered
at the squirrels dashing
lightning speed from unsteady
branches into hidden havens.

For hours we waited and watched
lawn chairs, trashcans, and
fields of leaves swirl up into the sky,
finally earning a retreat
into chaos. The newly
boarded windows withstood
the huffing and puffing of
nature’s big bad wolf-

he was not so ravenous this time.
Not like Katrina or Andrew.
Not enough to warrant
a week of cancelled classes
and hours of uninterrupted
news coverage- how quickly we
overreact to even the slightest
threat of rain or snow.

This was nothing more
than a PG rated epic but parents
sheltered their children,
covered their eyes and ears,
rocked them to sleep as even
picnic tables stood their ground.
Stacy Del Gallo Jun 2010
She teaches her body to ache for him,
move for him and dress for him;
to reject the familiar banter and comfort
in knowing he is close.
She banishes familiar kisses
to muster the mystery
that moistens her;
she loves him but she has
each molecule committed to memory,
etched in her being.

This is love, yes-
but she must back pedal a bit,
clear the air to feel the ping in her inner pit
when he comes near-
just like it was, just like it used to be
before they occupied each others’ hearts.
When he was just a body at the bar.
When he was just a dark haired conquest.
When she was just a hungry girl.
Feed me, she says.
Feed me.
Stacy Del Gallo Jun 2010
She wades in it.
Sometimes she slowly
descends, like sweat
down her brow;
like lips to a frown
but she battles it.

She bathes in it-
a smile as she practices
a pleasant look in the mirror;
widens her eyes, breathes
softly in then out,
in then out
though he no longer breathes.

In the dark of her heart
she screams, claws, begs
for him but only she
can feel the
beat   beat   beat
inside her bones.

She clings to it,
cradles it like a sleeping
child that will soon
wake, and wail
and wail...
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
I walk down Dillon street,
sun baking cement
and aging wooden doors.

No grass grows in this
mania of row homes
and crowded restaurants
save the few brave weeds
peeking out of cracks
in the sidewalk.

Father Kolbe School:
stands as a rose growing
in the midst of this barren
bar-studded desert.

Dozens of children play
kickball in its roped off intersection:
theirs for thirty minutes a day;
laughter of future senators
and junkies clad in clean
pressed blouses and plaid jackets.

In these moments
they can shriek and relax,
so few years before they sweat
over non-sufficient funds and
that shaky feeling that comes
from the ache of more;

more money more coffee
more time.

I should know, my forehead
is often soaked to the bone.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
Spring sweeps over Canton
in slow moving waves of sun-
branches on the few carefully
planted trees begin to bud
beautiful white petals,
clean and spotless against
dirt tinted brick
and unwashed windows,
shedding blankets of soft
confetti on hybrid cars
and BMWs crowded into
spots on the street sides.

The warm weather brings bees,
mosquitoes, and morning joggers
who smile at each other as they pass,
their dogs running beside them.
They stop to smell
the patches of weeds that have
sneaked between cement panels
on the sidewalk, but are quickly
****** ahead as their owners’
heart rates begin to fall.

The jogging trail is tracked
in old houses ******
over like aging women.
They soak up the warmth
like a sponge, their seventy
year old walls continuing to peel
old asbestos speckled paint
beneath brand new wall paper
and paneling.

Bankers and law students,
doctors and nurses,
barflies and models
hunt them like injured
pray on a mountain top-
so few to feed on
that when one emerges,
hundreds dive for the ****
but only the ones with the
fattest wallets win,
and can sink their teeth into
the tender taste of
prime real estate,
a thin slice of Hip in
this burgeoning yuppie haven.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
The sun descends on the city lit horizon.
Buildings glow in the dimming light,
reflect rays of warmth onto
an already glowing bride,
her cheeks increasingly pinkish
with blush and emotion
as she stands under the Hoopa, dressed
in white ornamented silk with hair curled;
strands threaded together tight
not unlike the silver Claddaugh ring
about to descend her finger.

So special is this one moment
she dares not breath,
dares not blink.
takes in every aroma
around her:
sea salt from the bay
and sweet cake from
the celebration inside;
sensitive to the most
minute movement of silver sliding
onto skin, each hair sliding back
in ecstatic submission to the
welcomed new resident.

Dozens watch but this moment is theirs
as they give themselves to each other
with ancient phrases repeated throughout time;
this time it is theirs to say and theirs to hear
and theirs to remember, etch deep into
their memory, forever.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
The first time my brother danced-
really danced,
more than just a faint
nodding of head
or an amusement for
laughing friends,
it was beautiful-
a moment felt only once.

He felt that bewildering tinge
of awe when you
let go of yourself for
just a moment, just enough
to allow that first shaky step,
then the next.

He started out stiffly,
moved from side to side
with blushing cheek,
stared at the cool linoleum.

Then music became more than
merely words.

I wonder if it was like the first
time I ever wrote a poem-
you know, really wrote
a poem- screamed myself
onto paper in a puddle
of mangled emotion-
words became more than
merely letters.

I stared at them,
shocked by this
extension of myself
staring back in black ink.

He seemed just as shocked
by the sweat on his forehead
and the smile on his lips.

He stared at the floor,
scuffed with the beauty
of his first real
movement to music.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
The road to the funeral home
was plagued by
brown Cadillacs stretched
out on overgrown lawns,
and cats lounging lazily
on splintered planks.

Eleven people sat scattered
around dozens of expectant
chairs laid out in long rows,
hairlines moistened by a
lackluster air unit wheezing
in the one window.

The Reverend approached
the pew and began his
assault of sentences--
they spewed from
his lips like careless
bullets, and they stung.

He shook his hands at us and
promised that she had
been delivered to God…

I wonder if he meant
delivered like her
neighborcare packages
containing the familiar numbing
glory of ****** that got her
through cancer after cancer,
limbs and eyesight failing,
decades old and stewing
in her stomach.

He sputtered out syllables
like bouts of fumes-
they filled the air and I
swear I could smell them,
the stench
of stale cologne
and stale culture.

I could taste the
disgust coming up from
my esophagus,
that bitterness the brain
dispenses when anger
can only be expressed in
a tapping foot and sourly
sagging lips.

I sat there, silent, as that
ancient man
with his West Virginia
draw clumsily
stumbled over a list of
relatives “Marge” would
meet in heaven.

He forgot my father,
skipped his name and
my heart began to pump
faster, my cheeks burning.

He did not know that she
was Margie and we would
remember her soft yellow curls
and infinite knowledge of
antique dolls,
hundreds of pristine replicas
beaming in glass cases.

He did not know that
her lips were electric;
she shocked our cheeks
with each hello
and goodbye.

I wish he knew her like I did,
the young woman who sat
stiffly in this plastic chair,
her little girl all grown up.

I wish I could have pushed
him off the stage and
made up for the seven years
I missed of kisses and
old stories and support.

But I sat there, silent
and stared at the cracked ceiling
tiles and fake flowers
on the front folding table,
yearning for the pounding in my
temples to stop.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
I stand in the cold
silence of after hours and
ponder how many days
my father spent hammering
away on a keyboard until
the desktop clock finally
reached day’s end.

I wonder if my boxed corporate cell-
asylum where I spend my days
staring limply at a screen
resembles the cubicle
that fostered my father’s
final moments?

My fingers caress these black keys
like a silk pillow-
a cradle for his
heavy head that fell
forward, plea recorded
by a frantic stream of characters
as that final gasp of air
rushed into his lungs.

He was surrounded by people
but so alone as everyone
concentrated on project plans
and email- fixed in their
corporate containers
as my father is now fixed
in a black urn.

Everyone has gone
and I linger
for a moment,
feel an affinity
with the man who
never came home.
Stacy Del Gallo Jul 2010
Every summer evening
I spend at home I know it
is 9 o'clock by the familiar
song from the
beat up ice cream truck
that creeps through Canton.

The truck is plain and grey-
no pictures of smiling faces
or advertisements for snow cones,
just those high pitched notes repeating
over and over and over.

It never stops.
No children sprint, ecstatic from
sweaty row homes.
No cones are coveted
by sticky fingers.

Who is this man who
drives up and down our streets
luring us in with a familiar jingle
I can't quite place as I pace
around my living room?

Perhaps he peddles magic potions
or prescription drugs to
expectant inner city addicts,
stopping only for those with
that telling shaky stammer.

Or maybe he transports
illegal immigrants
huddled behind his tinted windows
to obscure locations.

The only thing that is certain
is that it is 9  o'clock every time
I hear those notes.

Does he laugh at us as
we glance out our windows,
considering a late night treat but
always disappointed as he drives away?
Stacy Del Gallo Dec 2012
She denies each year that creeps
into her fragile bones as
careless creases inch around her eyes
and we shelter her,
carry her and care for her;
calm her when she weeps,
stroke her hair as she sleeps and
breathe shallow as we hope
she makes it
through another year,
month, week--


She never wanted the
fetus now flushed
into the void of all
unwanted things;
rejected from a life
it could not choose.

It would have been
just another crutch
she never used.

I wonder if she shrugged
as she lost you,
tiny one?
Shrugged as you held on tight...

You existed then were gone
like a hiccup,
like a dream, so real-
until eyes re-enter light.

She drowns herself in
percocet and loose joints
and she'll forget you
too soon;

stamp you down
into the mud of memories
squished into the back of the room.
Stacy Del Gallo Jun 2010
We were close to being bonded, you and I;
so close to the precipice of change,
so close I could feel my bones rattling;
swore I could feel my abdomen stretch
ever so slightly
to accommodate your tiny body;
so close was I to facing the reality of your creation
that I now feel abandoned by it;
an idea, a possibility, a tiny hope.

You leave me here to walk on
as you fade into the darkness
of what could have been,
into the shadows of
other great ideas.

I hold on tightly to the last threads
of your almost-being-
what hair you may have had-
soft and dark like mine or
coarse and plush like your father's.

Would you have smiled at me
when our eyes first met or
would you have pondered
what I am,
who I am,
who you are-
as I most certainly would have done,
still do...
Stacy Del Gallo Mar 2015
My silence is interrupted by
the constant hum of your baritone.
It is white noise to me now;
a subtle clamor that comforts
my lonely ears, a sad reminder
of how far away love gets.

— The End —