The Tao of Virgil Sollozzo
Look at my veiny hands. Look at the bare trees’ branches—
we’re holding up the winter sky, giving it back its darkness.
A pack of menthol cigarettes, a half empty bic lighter;
cleaned out clam shell found on the beach by the stone calendar.
In the movie, the doomed cop said I’ve frisked 1000 young punks.
My daughter’s name scrawled, my son’s, on the back of an old ticket stub.
No love is lighter than the rocks on the beach.
No love outlasts graphite or lead.
The I Ching instructs us how to live without blame.
How to pass through a window Earthen vessels filled with rice and wine.
But where to find the best veal in the city? Where to get a guarantee?
Have I yet missed my chance? I am not yet the hunted one. My hands are empty, see?
Jennifer Martelli’s book, Apostrophe, was published by Big Table Publishing Co. Her work has been published in Tar River Poetry, Bop Dead City, Right Hand Pointing, and can be heard at The Poetry Storehouse. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is an associate editor for The Compassion Project: An Anthology and lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her family.