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Sample Poems by Genevieve DiNatale

My Mother's Garden

She wanted a normal life
Though all her appliances were broken
And all she had to show for it
Was a sash of satin laid carefully across the floor
With the neighbor boy's footprints in it

After her husband left
They laughed when she tended her garden:

Lilium convallium,
Dederunt hyacinthum,
Rhododendron ferrugineum

She knew all their Latin names
Yet, no one noticed anything but the disorder that was attributed to her

And her dead words

The Caterpillar On Your Door

The uninvited
Caterpillar on your door
Startles your grip

Green & supple
From a puddle
She's prey to your forgotten touch

Perhaps she's waiting for wings
To take flight

Or for her yellow stripes to harden
Into a brown cloak-cocoon
To depend upon

Yet, repulsed by the vulnerability
Of her metamorphosis
You brush past
Mouth closed
Teeth gnashed

Your 15th Date

Differentiated by broken remembrance
The last petal - fallen from grace

He said,

'The world is full of people who haven't died yet'*1

The world's variation
Is breeds - is spectrum - is autonomy
And our greatest sin
Everything we are guilty of
Is skin

Discretion - our discrimination
And the melting petal

Is in our hands

So much to say between two entities
A known universe

Yet to be defined

It's all there

And the satellites that fill your mind and mine

Are simply bouncing off each other

Glancing across the table

The variance between two souls
Two days
Burnt by the same


And the other one

The moon

That you wish for in light

The separation between the quality of you

And what you envision of another

Is simply miscommunication

Bouncing off one thought into another


Sad souls

Sipping on plastic straws

In a forgotten place

That still exists

A Date With A Finnish Physicist

All the world's complexities fell upon him
Like leaves from a gigantic tree

Twisted and disheveled he took a seat
Before an anonymous girl in a country foreign to him
And parroted back
Everything she wanted to hear
In her own language

But it wasn't enough
The twirling smoke signals
Of his windblown hair
Wasn't enough

The Biblical tear-stained tower
Crumpled by her side in agony
Wasn't enough

The look in his eyes
That reached to the beginning of time
Wasn't enough
To convince her

That no matter the length

No matter when the leaves brush the hollow ground with their brittle spines

No matter when the smoke clears into the empty sky

Or when the last rain falls
On his closed eyes

She didn't want to fall
This time

1 (with special thanks to Franz Wright's poem 'On Earth' for concept)