Written after watching
Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf
Who is Silvio? what is he?
M.’s Titian eyes prosecute.
She discovered his name in
my diary, the composition
book in the bottom drawer,
under my Jazz New Orleans
and Luxor Las Vegas T-shirts.
“Silvio” in red amid the black,
there, in a dozen daily entries,
“Silvio” in printed capital letters
beside the cursive. Why printed?
Why in red ink? M. counted
forty-nine Silvios. Forty-nine,
she said, is divisible by seven.
There are seven days in a week.
“How many belong to Silvio?”
Seven sacraments. “Which is he?
Baptism? Penance? Confirmation?”
I go and walk along the shoreline.
It’s late January in the Northeast.
M., chiding angel, tails me.
Her breath-clouds transmit
“Silvio!” to my frozen ears.
At five, I’m back home in
the warmth home provides.
M. stays outside, knocking
on the window, mouthing
“Silvio! Silvio! Silvio!”
Reader, please don’t pity M.
There is no Silvio. And don’t
pity me. There is no diary.
There is no M.
JOEL ALLEGRETTI (www.joelallegretti.com) is the author of, most recently, Platypus (NYQ Books), a collection of poems, prose, and performance texts, and Our Dolphin (Thrice Publishing), a novella. His second book of poems, Father Silicon (The Poet’s Press), was selected by The Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006.
He is the editor of Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (NYQ Books). The Boston Globe called Rabbit Ears “cleverly edited” and “a smart exploration of the many, many meanings of TV.” Rain Taxi said, “With its diversity of content and poetic form, Rabbit Ears feels more rich and eclectic than any other poetry anthology on the market.” Jon Paul photo.