Anthony Liccione is from Upstate New York and has been writing poetry
for over ten years. Some of his work has or is scheduled to appear in
Strange Road, Words-Myth, Ygdrasil Journal, Farmhouse Magazine and
Mad Hatters Review. He is a recent winner of the 2006 LizaBeth Poetry
Award. He released his second chapbook Parched and Colorless with
The Moon Publishing, and a full-volume book of poems Back Words
and Forward with PublishAmerica (ISBN:1424113563). When not
writing, he proofreads an online writing resource site, TheWritingBug.

Dolls in the Air

Two dolls were snatched
in anger from my hands
and thrown with a cast,
arm threads ripped, shoes
flown, white stuffing pus
beads spilled into the blue -
sewn up smiles falling down.

I was nine, but my father
was determined that I
were never to play with dolls.
I told him grandmother made
them as a present for my birth-
day and he told me perfectly,
today, I will have a talk with
your grandmother.

It was some time after. I kissed
Jennifer and came home with her
lipstick coloring my lips maroon
and the moron was there four
beers down, when he looked
at me with hate and gave me
a backhand
then shipped me to my room.

I wanted to tell him it's
not what you think,
and that I love you dad,
but I held back my words
and swallowed blood
from my lips.

Resentment had grown like
a tumor and all the sooner
I learned to despise my father,
and when he wasn't looking,
I kissed a man, and another
then another and another,
until my lips were as pressed
as white tulips, delicate -
what would have been crushed
had my father passed by
and saw our two lips pressed,
my hand stroking his back.

The dolls hit the dirt
not far from the sandbox,
where Tonka trucks plowed
and a plastic rifle had slain
imaginary robbers hiding
behind the trees.


Rare and raw
looking to find fault -
world pressed of pressure
faces of every size, sex
colorless like drizzle drops
of rain on the window clinging
aloof with nowhere to go
but a car windshield
a tear of water inches
down connecting like dot-
to-dots growing bigger

when the arm of God
swishes through -
like lightning, merciless
swiping the slate of glass
clean of his creation.

On Turning Two

Second birthday
$4.89 for a number 2 candle
three blows out
a whitewash for future Augusts
birds flying high
a new dawn, a new day
flame withdrawn -
sticky fingers frosting
all worth the pennies
to ten seconds
captured on reel.

Spoon and Fork

While yet married to a dish,
the spoon ran off with the fork
to elope into a knife,
cut-throat marriage -
going eating porkishly
at Las Vegas buffets
and drinking glass
after glass martinis and wine,
gambling the night away.

It wasn't until the cow
jumped over the plate-perfect
moon, that spoon thought of his
dish back home,
probably by now dirtied
with tears and peas, as
the big dipper
above the brightly lit strip,
and small dipper below
his belt, somewhat aroused -

where the little dog laughed
to see such sport,
when the spoon and fork
slipped between the sheets
of a napkin.

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