CHRIS CAPITANIO


Chris Capitanio work has been published in The Literary Nest, Counterclock,
Gone Lawn, Open: A Journal of Arts and Letters, and Dodging the Rain.






He, She, Piano

He presses his great weight against her eyes. "Play me something, like when we first started dating," he says. He circles her but does not land, like a plane in hostile weather. She does not say anything. She is like the concert pianist who waits until the auditorium is completely silent. She waits in the afternoon glare off the white keys and in the silence she kicks against the protrusion of his chin, knowing he can no longer push her body into their past. "Play me something, like when we first started dating," he says again, with more urgency, as his Adam's apple, ashamed of his begging, cowers back into his throat. She lifts the piano lid like a window and dips her fingers through a November wind born in the trees on the horizon of their spacious backyard. She plays with the weight of her heart in her fingers, a song too heavy for its crib. She plays the song of the girl hiding under the bed, the spot the sweepers cannot reach.






Do not Trust the Moon

God called out to young Lorca, "Federico, why are you hiding?" Lorca replied, "My nocturnal nakedness and there are many handsome boys here." God asked, "How do you know you are naked?"

"The lizard told me," Lorca replied. "The chameleon who does not use camouflage because he fears he will no longer see himself. Are they coming Lord, those with new religions that make allies of oranges and enemies of lemons?" Lorca asked. "Yes," God said. "Stick close to the olive trees, they are more tolerant. They care only for the quality of the olives, not who picks them. But do not wonder at night, the moon works for them. They have bribed it and it will disappear when they require the necessary darkness to kill you. "Do not trust the moon," God said. Lorca nodded, and God left.






Travelling Anxiety

Anxiety moves through my blood slow and heavy, but with impeccable direction, like camels through the desert at night. They do not carry silk or spices to places, but they carry salt away from my brain. Anxiety does not travel at night because its sun is too dangerous. It creates its own sun, a sun without rays, a sun with waves that drown. But there is no water in anxiety, not even the flickering mirage which slows the heartbeat a bit.

The moon looks like something cold you can drink.

The only water here is stored in the camel's hump. I may have to kill him for his water one day. This is called "taking medication".

As we pass the Pyramids, one traveler tells me the Pharaohs believed you could take everything with you to the afterlife, including anxiety.

Last night, I dreamt I was a Pharaoh waking up from death deep inside the Pyramid. The claustrophobia was strong in the darkness and I desperately searched for the secret passageway created for my soul to pass through. But I was not soul. I was all man. I was all anxiety.



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