Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.

by Emilio Iasiello

Because you had left
because you had left and there was
nowhere else to turn,
I rode out past my Metro stop—
past Court House and East Falls Church,
straight to the end of the line,
Dunn Loring.

I stood on the same platform
where we talked of nonsensical things, 

a curled flower, a furled look 

neither one willing to depart first
as if to leave was to break a spell,
cast our two weeks together
into an abyss,
a sweeping erasure.
There was so much left unsaid—
possibilities, the what could-be.
I wanted to tell you things,
take you places—
overcast beaches
where God flings wind off the ocean,
where at night, phosphorus algae
gleam in the shallow water like
fallen stars.
I wanted to tell you the future
was shadowless,
make you believe
that your boyfriend, my girlfriend
were like so many careless gestures
made then forgotten,
a closed fist, an empty wave
the space between our nine-year difference,

After we kissed, I recalled
how you walked away—
your dress a violet imprint
among the wash of blue and grey suits.
You refused to show me your eyes
keeping them fixed on the light
beyond the tunnel ahead,
endlessly burning.

Emilio Iasiello is the author of Postcards from L.A. He has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals and written two other books: a collection of short stories, Why People Do What They Do, and a nonfiction narrative, Chasing the Green. He has also written for the stage and screen and has had numerous works produced in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and London, UK.

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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