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    Room 59 • Poetry Hotel 

Four Poems / Connie Post



When you took out

that old forty five

of Frank Sinatra’s

“I’ve got you under my skin”

permeating every room

of the house


It was as if

he danced with you

a soft waltz

and dad finally moved

to the back of the line


your hand so light

upon the left shoulder


moving across the room

as if there were no

drunk melody

pummeling you to the

dance floor


the young, perfect Italian voice

could never comprehend

the crimes of a broken husband


the indecent notes of contrition


how he would lead you

off that dance floor


the forty five still spinning

the long scratch in the middle

cleaving the song

like a darkness

you cannot name






I watched the eclipse

from your gravesite


but I watched it

from the wrong angle


“remember the one

we saw in 1991”

I asked


I told you I missed you,

I told you the baby turned three,

and that

the house hasn’t sold yet


but the grass

wasn’t listening

and I couldn’t think

of anything else to say


so I pulled out

my special glasses

“isn’t it beautiful”

I said

and you nodded yes

from behind the sun


I only looked once

it’s what you would have wanted


the rest of the day

I spent my time

meandering around the yard


pondering the

distortions of a bent sky

thinking about the moon

turning black




I hear strange sounds in the night

but you tell me

“its just the sounds that old houses make”


but the ceiling and I know better


this house was built too fast

the concrete was poured too soon

the foundation set wrong

the floorboards are held together

with daily acts of contrition


we know how quickly

walls were erected

how the hands of strong men

forced the frame upward

even while their muscles frayed


we know what it means to hide

know the support beams will fall someday

we know the roof will eventually be condemned

along with the rest of the dwelling


for now

I walk carefully upon

the hardwood floors

listening for frailties

for creaking unnoticed by others


I hide under rickety door frames

find cracks in places nobody knows about

trying to tell you



how hard it can be

to hide inside a body






Fire is promiscuous

the way it tempts dry grass

lays itself open to a field


one bawdy wind

and the flame is a

dropped dress


passing down the waist of summer

each lie a spark

a way to fan

the infidelity of smoke


undressing a landscape

feeding itself

until the sky is full of

its own sins


we will breathe

and cough


but the orange

throws us to the known bed of autumn


we will choke

on vows

until the soil below us

erodes and falls away


the arsonist

–now contained

acrid with his own remorse

will drop to his knees

in a field he once loved

and beg for rain


About the Author

Connie Post served as Poet Laureate of Livermore, California (2005 to 2009). Her work has appeared dozens of journals, including  Calyx, Aurorean,

Atticus Review, Comstock Review, Cold Mountain Review Slipstream, River Styx, Spoon River Poetry Review, Two Bridges Review, Valparaiso

Poetry Review  and  Verse Daily. Her Chapbook “And when the Sun Drops” won the Aurorean’s Editor’s choice award in 2013 .She has been short

listed for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize, The Muriel Craft Bailey awards (Comstock Review) Lois Cranston Memorial Awards (Calyx), and Gary

Gildner Award (I 70 Review).  Her first full length Book Floodwater  (Glass Lyre Press 2014) won the Lyrebird Award. Her awards include the 2017

Prick of the Spindle Poetry Competition, the Caesura Award and the 2016 Crab Creek Poetry Award.


Acknowledgements: "Ol Blue Eyes" previously appeared in Italian Americana  (Winter 2018); "Bent Sky" previously appeared in the

Lindewood Review (June 2018); "Structurally Sound: previously appeared in Comstock Review (2011); "Fire Season" previously appeared in Marin

Poetry Center Anthology (2008). 

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