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Post Road Magazine #31

Mafiosa

Suzanne Manizza Roszak

The seventh time they laugh about

my homicidal male relatives, I recall


the back of my father's truck plastered over


for peace. Free Leonard Peltier, the bumper

commands as we crest the hill, each of us


longhaired and flying a limb out


the open window like a cheerful flag of

surrender. This is what I recall


while they delight in the glistening


outlines of my father's imaginary

violence, to be realized in the manner


of a village clan with tanned faces


avenging something: maybe the town's guts

emptied out, figures passing through


stone houses, down the hill, into the sea.



Elegy for the Quiet House

It is a story for telling and not telling. A story

for floating, for tying down


with weights. A story for braiding

and re-braiding into forms


that can be stilled.



Imagine a hundred bright faces

at work. Hanging over the pottery wheel, the cutting


board, the pock-marked rhododendron.

Imagine them as a kaleidoscope


of impossibility: all the shining

repeated permutations


of want.



Move backward. Call up the faded intervals

after noon: kitchen radio static


between maracas and evangelical

tripe. Call up the terrifying force


of sweat. Raw nerves radiate

a pain that insinuates itself


into everything.



Mark it: the boundary

between spectacle and the quiet


house, hearth-fire curled around

the razor elbows of


our future.





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