Two poems by Alyssa Mazzarella



A leopard tail bobs
above my buttocks
as we wander cul-de-sacs
not seeking candy.
With the speckled
stuffed appendage tucked
between my legs,
I flog him as a joke.
The rhinestone encrusted
front lawns
surround us. Red
sugar clings to our tongues.
I feel his chest
against my back,
his fingers pry
at the lip of my shirt
then lift as a pair of headlights
lights my cold-stippled skin.
Hair winds my face
and his tapers into dried
cornhusk gold.
We climb into the dark
trunk of my station wagon,
the sky through the sunroof like loam
and body glitter,
and tear the night open
like an expected piece of mail.





Drawing the Line

The line ends here where the gas pump shuts off and the 41 bus stops taking passengers.

The line ends here where we begin waiting for imported oranges, tiny pastel pills,
the plastic photo ID that says our name, our birthday, the place to locate us.

Here where hydrocarbon feeds into the oven, electricity splits its currents, blue cooling syrup leaks from a cracked gasket.

And here where the dam overflows onto olive grass, where the fence edges the winding black path and spruces spill into the crowded forest.

Where the crosswalk abuts the sidewalk. Where the lit-up signpost chirps and blinks, the line ends.

Here, where you describe my stride on the gum-dappled street.

Where the crease between your lips bends into your cheek.

My body closes its skin and the air juggles its electrons like Baoding balls.

The line ends where the palm reader sees the pleat between my thumb and forefinger.

The line ends where the curve begins.

At three-dimensionality.

At the pool of water the heron stands in, his one leg bent like an elbow.




Alyssa Mazzarella is an MFA candidate in poetry and an instructor for Introduction to Creative Writing at UMass Boston. In 2013, she received an Academy of American Poets Prize and a Mary Doyle Curran Creative Writing scholarship. She’s previously taught at Baystate Correctional Center and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and holds a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Her poems have appeared in Freshwater and Common Ground Review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *