LA FAMIGLIA CHE PIAN PIANO

Andrew Carroll

 “P.S. — Do you suppose, when you & I
     are dead, dear[est.],
                               they will publish the Love
     Letters of Edna St. Vincent Millay
     & her Mother?

 

She was waiting for you: all
                                  the woman
you could be. Lazarus promised she would
never marry
                      her self-image to the
blue siren mocked in male conceit—or
a man. But there she stood
                                     like a lightning
imprisoned, with that old colossus called
happiness; and he lumbered
                                       sweet with glad
-tidings, grateful as only men with block-
heads could contrive:
                                 dogged, bothersome, and
patient. Not composed of reunited
victims of the
                          Fall, but a strange first time
collage of the too-familiar—that is
love.
          Its outpour had begun ending all
her first letters with “That is love,
                                                               Millay”

as if reminding presence of the past.
She kept each note
                             locked secret in landscapes
pink and resistible; and in secret
Lazarus read them, returning with sighs
each amoeba of the river—furrowed
vows that, following suit, Millay would flush
one day.
                 Re-living was her recompense
for gifting broken youthful promises
to the promise of a yet-unbroken
youth,
            for motherhood—
                                    which of course you know
nothing about.

Andrew Carroll is a member of Long Beach Renaissance, and a co-founder of the art-media collective, FORTHE. He has been published as a literary and cultural critic, journalist, and poet. His debut collection, rest-less, a volume of unrequited love poems, was self-published in January, 2018.