elise ficarra

two minutes



to midnight parking garage voices talk of picking off

countries one at a time huge dark mountains and a million

pilgrims maybe Iíll cook broccoli for dinner


dusk lights come on over fountains we marvel

at blue and green itís pretty our city panic

is not a valley itís a charm what to believe


we want to pull something out of the hat its orange

like soup the Homeland office says make plans three

days of food and plastic for the windows mental grid


weíre meant to be afraid so we talk of weddings

and foals and S. fixes her hair in the mirror with a big clip

art is something that cannot be rushed


so simple to stand in a painting disclose its color frost

left unusual brightness to become paranoid or

listen we inhabit a spaceship but donít think of it that way


as one crashes back in bits we are aggressors

in one long war this level of alert stomach knot

in bay a small boat tethered to a pole looking back


at shore twenty years in prison they say Mandela

never lost faith is it possible cots in bunkers numb

TV, hey, thereís a world out here guards lined up


to shake his hand weíre glommed together blinking

red I wait on ramp for iron gate to crank shelter yourself

weíve no idea what any of us might do next





this is my version of a Frank O'Hara 'I do this I do that' poem.

elise ficarra is a small town girl transplanted to san francisco. her favorite person in the world is a dog. most of the poetry she writes goes in the drawer, but some can be found in hinge, a boas anthology of eight women writers, or in publications such as14 hills, transfer, scribbler, and forthcoming in small town. she has a chapbook called onslaught beings. Elise attends poetry readings as an occupation and hopes that our two minutes will not be up by the time this appears.