Credo (sections II-IV)
I’ve stood among the memories of the dead & living both,
not certain which was which — every moment exists,
discrete and borderless. At age 18 I rearranged small
traces in the library’s basement, moving archived
yearbooks, black & white aerial survey photos,
town planning reports. All ephemera kept
just in case & I understood: we all forget.
After World War II (seventy-odd short years) the world
of wood and metal was replaced
& still wood and metal held in our imaginations
against wind and rot. This is called progress:
the voluntary belief that plastic is Detroit steel,
or that plastic itself is oak—panels extruded
skin-thin, tinted, swirled & burled into
dashboard insets to wow the proles.
The world’s gone
glossy with oils.
The closest I’ve personally been to destruction:
Boston Marathon Bombing, April 2015
in rickety house tacked hillside, Belmont MA, while
packed fragments—pressure-cooked projectiles—
tinseled cheers into filaments of woe…
and I, across the Charles & miles distant, rolled eyes
& Not agained, thinking of 9/11, that first terror
neighborhood I’d called home. I didn’t weep
that race-day, didn’t blink days later during car
chase or house-by-house search — State Police
copters menacing via low lean shadows & constant
syncopated rotorbeats — but narrowed my eyes
against sun outside, furtively walking the dog
while a mile downhill a boy bled in a boat.
This doesn’t tell you who I was or am.
Michael Mercurio's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Palette Poetry, Sugar House Review, Rust + Moth and elsewhere, and his poetry criticism can be found in the Lily Poetry Review and Coal Hill Review. Michael also serves as Secretary of the Board for Faraday Publishing, a nonprofit company dedicated to amplifying marginalized voices, and on the steering committee for the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, held each September at the Emily Dickinson Museum.