November 9, 2019

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi
One of Us 
A sucker-punch thought, 
we will end. 
The assault turns into a cold sweat 
from the contours of my couch. 
One day we might fight over 
the over-due mortgage, 
you promised to pay. 
The dent in the new hallway’s paint,  
I never denied. 
Who keeps the dog  
when we sell the house?  
We fought the morning 
a bus crashed into the glass store. 
The highway exit was blocked 
and first responders’ lights spun. 
I read on my phone that no one’s hurt 
and we held hands the drive home. 
What if we’d decided  
to replace the glass in the tv stand 
an hour earlier. 
The first time I wrote this 
you sat next to me on the couch.  
TV commentaries must-know insight, 
scores on your phone, 
notes for a fantasy, 
but you won’t remember this morning 
as anything distinguishable 
from the other bubble-gum memories 
wadded in your head.  

Find Joy, Tell Her She’s Wrong 
I believe 
             I struggle to write 
because of the vacuum 
encaged in my ribs  
is filled by anxiety air 
             thick as pudding 
             pink as pills. 
I think 
             I lack subjectivity 
                                  (and objectivity) 
because most days 
I see cracked-gray skies 
rotted dirt 
and branches days away  
                                  from dust. 
I’m told 
             it’s a lovely day 
by pink-cheek neighbors 
who see the world 
             as a God-given playground.   
They say go 
before my tongue 
             tsks, tsks away 
their golden sun 
artificial turf 
outdoor brick barbeques  
and they 
                            are stricken with 
             the clogged chest vacuums 
             the head-disconnections 
without the cold medicine 
and their lives  
             are drained 
                           of color. 
I measure 
             how thick the air feels. 
Today I can’t move 
                    beyond the nook 
                                           of my couch. 

Tall Grass in the Livingroom  
Aunt Winnie’s oil painting 
hangs over the electric fireplace. 
When I was a child 
it hung over my parents’ hearth. 
I watched it for hours. 
I fished from a rowboat  
with the boys in a cove 
framed in golden wood.   
The artist was my grandma’s twin. 
She painted it for their mom 
who passed the brushwork to my mom. 
When I was in college 
Grandma gave Mom 
a second painting, 
three boys, fishing poles, a red barn. 
When I married  
and settled in my house, 
she gifted me the scenes 
Aunt Winnie painted the barn, 
then the cove,  
because they asked for an order.  
I believe the boys 
in her work are the boys 
walking past the barn 
with fishing poles 
to the cove 
where the rowboat waits. 
I believe but I don’t know. 
I can only see their backs  
by the barn, 
and they’re too far away  
in the boat. 
I can’t see the noses,  
bug bites, untied shoes, or bare feet, 
and I can’t ask the artist.    


Kathryn V. Jacopi, an adjunct professor, received her MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University. Her writings have appeared in Pudding Magazine, Statorec, Fjord, Manzano Mountain Review, and Drunk Monkeys. Kathryn’s poem received first place for the 2016 Hysteria Writing Competition. When she’s not reading, writing, and lesson planning, Kathryn’s either kayaking or enjoying her spouse’s fantastic cooking. This is Kathryn’s first publication in Fictional Café.


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