PLACES TO LAND
Gabriella M. Belfiglio
The morning sun beams
a slanted rectangle of light
on our cream-colored wall.
It looks like an entryway.
The pre-teen on the F train
wears black polka dot tights.
The crossing and uncrossing of her legs
orchestrate the words from her mouth.
She frees a kiss on her friend’s cheek
before she scoots off the orange seat—
her backpack barely clearing the closing doors.
The lady in a business suit
coos “good girl” to her tiny dog
as a taxi buzzes past
the corner of 16th and 5th—
her hand, covered
in a blue NYT plastic bag, at the ready
for her dog’s concrete-scratching
ritual to end.
The square is still calm—
only the peal of metal poles
as they puzzle together.
A man with a fluorescent orange vest,
whistles into the straggling crowd
directing the wheatgrass van into its spot.
A Goldilocks fillet of flounder—
not too big, not too small—
perches on the scale
just as the customer, wearing her
everyday pearls beckons: pack it in
a little ice. A fishmonger
scoops some into the open bag.
A gaggle of preschoolers press
toward the front of the case of fish,
hoping to see something
they have never seen before.
Eww! they chime—eyes greedy
for a glimpse of guts.
A black-olive ring falls
from the corner of its pita
onto the gravel, an eager squirrel
scuttles close—ready to retrieve.
A rush of people maneuver
stand to stand—piling into bags
the ingredients for tonight’s dinner.
A loose onion
rolls under a tower of collard greens.
A honey-headed woman sits
with her legs static
on her boyfriend’s lap.
They take up more room than two people.
Heavy bass leaks from
his earphones. She twists closer
as a lady thumps onto the seat
on her opposite side.
I arrive back home
to three hungry cats and the smell of garlic.
I kick off my boots, dump my backpack
on a chair, and undress, before collapsing
into a tub full of steaming water.
My sweetheart dishes out white rice.
She sneaks a pink shrimp into her pink lips
before sliding the rest on top.
Our tiger-striped cat, lounging
on the kitchen table jumps off
just in time for the plates to land.
Gabriella M. Belfiglio lives in Brooklyn, NY with her partner and five cats. She teaches self-defense, conflict resolution, karate, and tai chi to people of all ages throughout the five boroughs. Gabriella won second place in the 2014 W.B. Yeats Poetry Contest. Gabriella’s work has been published in many anthologies and journals including VIA, E*ratio, Challenger International, Pinyon Review, Radius, The Centrifugal Eye, Folio, Avanti Popolo, Poetic Voices without Borders, Literary Mama, The Avocet, The Potomac Review, Eclectica, Lambda Literary Review, The Monterey Poetry Review and The Dream Catcher’s Song. Her website is www.gabriellabelfiglio.info.com