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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 23


the schnauzer, our Baby Girl over nachos and tacos at La Davina is our treat
for having survived the week, packed with meetings and medical tests
for me and Baby Girl, whose back legs shake more and more each day and
I’m worried that this is the start of her last days with us;
I’m worried that you and I will be unable to go to sleep without her;
I’m worried that the American President will alienate the world via Twitter;
I’m worried that the bushfires will keep burning and smoldering in Australia;
I’m worried that Venice will be submerged by its worst flooding since 1966;
I’m worried that the next phone conversation with my father will be the last one

he and I will ever have, that we won’t have another day when neither of us
isn’t gripped in the mist of our respective medications,
that we won’t get to enjoy even the smallest of our small talk, that even news
of John Tonelli’s number 27 being retired by the New York Islanders, raised
in the rafters of Nassau Coliseum, The Old Barn, before they move
into new digs, again, will become a flag of our inability to talk and listen to each other
instead of at and over each other as adults for me; the same holding true
for Butch Goring’s number 91, joining all of the other Islander legends
whose numbers are sort of coordinates for the times and places in my boyhood

when a Knish was the answer to every question and the ultimate peace offering;
when my face was awash in arcade gleam: streams of sweat induced by Galaga;
when the music of Prince thumped and grooved in my room and streets of puberty;
when Benson and Hedges cigarette smoke slithered around chandeliers;
when telephones were in the walls of kitchens, beside cupboards and cuckoo clocks
and Johnny Carson inspired David Letterman, whose stupid pet tricks enabled me
to laugh myself to sleep, even when my parents threw dishes at each other,
before Television’s eyes got heavy, and went to sleep, unlike me
later on tonight, and I just thought you’d might like to know.

  Joey Nicoletti