And Walk Through. Poems by Anthony DiPietro, selected by Ron Mohring as Number Two in Volume Nine of our Summer Kitchen Chapbook Series.
Release date: October 30, 2021 [49 copies]
S O L D O U T
Cover image: antique quilting cotton, Pennsylvania, ca. 1890.
Anthony DiPietro is a gay Rhode Island native who has worked in community-based organizations for two decades. In 2016, he joined Stony Brook University, where he earned a creative writing MFA, taught college courses, and planned and diversified arts programming. He is now associate director of the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts. A graduate of Brown University with honors in creative writing, his poems and essays have appeared in Notre Dame Review, The Seventh Wave, Washington Square Review, and others. He has been a finalist with Coal Hill Review, Naugatuck River Review, Storm Cellar Quarterly, and The Tishman Review, and has received fellowships from Aspen Summer Words, The Frost Place, and Key West Literary Seminars. His website is www.AnthonyWriter.com.
Ten days shy of age seven Mom packed
and I carried my own suitcase
to go stay at Nana and Papa’s
so my youngest brother could be born.
No place in the world I’d rather
eat treats after my favorite
dinner and lie beneath the coffee table
on the shag rug looking up at tv,
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, etc.
My mother (a sun with planet me
revolving around) always said that I
was born thirty, carrying books in a briefcase
that I’d read already, but then I learned
she had to be at the hospital an extra week
apart from me, psyche-less,
flung loose, lost entity. Lord, when I heard,
I gave my first performance of grief.
The grown-ups were moved by my
sulking, animal whimper, wet tears,
extreme lethargy of the child limbs.
They tried to divert my attention
to my toddler brother (squishy red toy
he was) whom I dropped like a doll.
I was a quiet child, but they
could not ignore the noise of my need.
They tried bribes of black raspberry
ice cream, crisp cold apple juice,
extra potato chips, and while food
is persuasive, with a family history
of soothing both depression and anxiety,
I could not be distracted from my
detachment, my need to re-meet
my mother, without whom I was
not I, even warm, loved, safe, at home,
I was despair. I went on sleep strike,
refused the big pillowy bed, lost
my ability to make new memories,
threw the dormer window open
to yell incoherent grief. Years later
we would laugh about this, when my mother
brought me to my college dorm.
On the sidewalk, we hugged and laughed
until we cried, we cried until we shook,
we shook until it stopped.
Limited edition: only 24 copies were available. This title has sold out.