Devil’s Lake

Fall 2016 Issue

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello: Culaccino

(n): the mark left on a surface by a wet glass

photos taken with my phone: 996 photos tagged #selfie in one day: 402,197 actual selfies taken in one day: 1,000,000 a conservative estimate according to time magazine and tourism asia europe america roman noses or pressed flat like palms like olive oil trees lost words like / howdy / ciao / nihao / annyoung slipped into our vocabulary like single bay leaves ladled into pots stewed tomatoes with herbs small pungent words I remember but can’t draw together like the many eyes of my former selves like the red moon of my body or a circle ghost of wine not quite complete like a camera lens half shut

Poem in Handfuls

My grandmother was preparing
to die. Already she had
given away everything of value:
her mother’s cedar dresser
to the eldest of four,
the ceramic milkmaid hiding
a butter dish under her skirt,
gloss-winged issues of Birds
& Blooms
, half-finished
crosswords and ciphers,
even the fading poinsettia.
Then, to me she said,
“Cup your hands.”
I did. She poured a measure
of water into my bowl of fingers,
and I could not contain it all.
But then, what did I know
of accumulations—of currents?

There Is No / Erasing 1948

in the year of the rat a leap year year of the bikini year of albert the first the first monkey astronaut launches from white sands, new mexico 40,000 men fingerprinted in blackburn england the year of george a. gamow theory of the universe the big bang the pulitzer goes to thomas stearns eliot tennessee williams babe ruth dies orville wright dies al gore and samuel l. jackson and george r. r. martin born stevie nicks and donna summer and a streetcar named desire born the year israel becomes an independent state of california hells angels war in jeju island costa rica palestine berlin republic of korea proclaimed people’s democratic republic of korea proclaimed mahatma ghandi assassinated the year of the woman defined by packing tape and cardboard and squall the year my father is born and every possible future collapses into one.

Poet Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello MARCI CALABRETTA CANCIO-BELLO is the author of Hour of the Ox, which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry (Pittsburgh, 2016), and has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman and the Knight Foundation, among others. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Best New Poets 2015, Columbia: A Journal of Literature & Art, december, The Georgia Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and more. She serves as cofounding editor for Print-Oriented Bastards and producer for The Working Poet Radio Show. More from this issue >