Saudades by Jenelle D’Alessandro

armchairs receive us like a
brute force attack of
colloquial gestures: eliciting homesickness for Lisbon,
dragging out the inevitable
elastic strictures of half-planned dialogues
(forgive us of all our erasures)
galvanizing some astuteness along the way
heroines and heroes sniff out the same fears
irrigating aspect and agency as
jackals creeping around the wounded in this city
kaleidoscope cobblestone for a 64-bit viewfinder
leveling out all playing fields: now fallopians look like
matterhorn on mother’s old apron;
niceties spread out like handkerchiefs over
orators in ancient Rome, all of your statements
pewter edges dug into the travertine
questioning the bones in history —
redacting the assumptions of our youth.
sullied from years of exhaustion we
trace the cost, since rumor has it the
uberman is always hungry, double portioning
vicissitudes in every hometown:
writing the president letters meant for Santa Claus as
xenophobes push to bear all borders.
you stop to say the watermelon rinds season summer so well
zealous to let the low tide in Estoril roll over the sugar.

Jenelle D’Alessandro lives and works in Los Angeles. She is working on
her first chapbook, a collection of homophonic 2nd/3rd gen. translations of
Whitman. You will find her on Twitter @freshgreenbeans and penning 50-
word reviews of contemporary poetry at