The Poetry of Joseph Zaccardi

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GIRL WITH MANDOLIN

Elaine touches the scar where the surgeon cut through her sternum
runs her finger over the raised red artistry that divided her body
the way Picasso unbridled paintings to graft an art closer to life
and she explained how the medical team pried open her chest cavity
how they used her radial arteries to make a bypass and connect
and how the stitches on her arms left trace lines from elbow to wrist
they are smooth nearly opaque and she tells me about the store clerk
who asked if she tried to kill herself who did not know the ancients
pecked into patina of stone and chiseled with antlers their messages
why did he say such a thing she asks me and am I upset
that a scalpel could craft such brilliance and then she struck
the fretted fingerboard of her mandolin bringing the fullness
of its sound to me from its hollow wooden cage
and we who were separate are brought together
our rooms and walls taken away


from Common Ground Review

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