[Poetry] Five Poems by Federica Santini


Where-Wave


I will see you at the place where the wave

breaks, where the exacted horizon

reverts for an instant framed in your

dazzled pupils, where my palms hold

the shivering breath of the water.


Boulders collapse underfoot

then renew themselves on my lips

as I speak the last word that unites us

and breaks us, the unstable rupture

of foam and senses, of mouths and hands.





A Birth in the Depths


The day of waiting begins, body

unfolding in rivulets

of pain, blood pulling on the dark

weight of the womb, twisted

in knotty labyrinths of waves: hope

and the sunken smooth stone

of loss and desire.


The rusted bell tolls: her hands

are translucent, her first

breath has the salty

scent of the sea.




Cages


Sometimes at dawn I can see

secret black flowers held deep

inside the uneven stalk of plants,

the spark of never lit fires:

coaxing escape, waiting for

unknown domains to disclose


The cage of the skin holds its secrets

a darkness that blossoms inside





Unbinding Spell Pantoum


The golden mouth of the sun swallows you.

A voice calls from the depths of the sea

enchanting your figure into fulldisappearance,

your smile impermanent, your eyes in full shade


A voice calls from the depths of the sea

the last wave of sound fulfills your abstraction

your smile impermanent, your eyes in full shade

and you are gone, like a stone in the well.


The last wave of sound fulfills your abstraction

no single reflection survives on the water

and you are gone, like a stone in the well.

The golden mouth of the sun swallows you.






Eaten by the Sea


It sits at the heart of the sea:

you find it in the folded depths

beneath the weight of the water

in the nuanced tint of algae,

in retorted sea-fingers seeking

a way to the surface.


What waits at the heart of the sea? What

makes the abyss-red creatures vibrate

as a faint breeze caresses

the unfurled skin of the waves?


The hunger in the cavernous heart

of the sea is the one at the core of your own.


Federica Santini lives in Atlanta and teaches at Kennesaw State University. She holds an MA from the University of Siena, Italy, and a PhD from UCLA. She has authored or edited four volumes on poetics and her poetry has been published in numerous journals in North America and Europe. Her 2021 poetry chapbook, Unearthed, is forthcoming with Kelsay Books.