America

Original Text: 
Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, Living in Paradise: New and Selected Poems (Toronto: Manfield Press, 2001): 36-37.
2left on the seat beside me, somewhere between
5about the pasting of billboards.
6In and out of bus stops, nausea in my head,
7the toilet smelling at the back;
8the bus jolting the freeways; nightlights
9rained on the window
10the night I honeymooned with America. She took
11me around like a sweetheart showing off her hometown.
12We came upon places where Miller had had her
13before me. We stepped off at depots and she was friendly
14with old drunks, with sailors.
15When we passed apple trees gathering frost
16her eyes softened; she seemed almost childlike.
17And later, tall mills, saddening her landscape, the way
18a woman thinks of years with a man she couldn't love.
19When we passed train yards, she reminisced about
20Miller in New York, nights they made love by the roar
21of trains, sparks flying at the folds of her summer dress.
22The night I saw her for the first time, I saw she
23was a good whore -- nothing to fall in love with --
24fond of the young boys who'd grown with her; tall sons
25of a sort who'd go on to elegize her, claim their
26corruption by her, though
27no man goes on to respectable wives
28after her. She was nothing to sing about, the night
29she lifted her dress for me.
30But quietly all over the world
31her men return to their first nights with her.
32Quietly, like small boys stealing apples under
33furious stars,
34they remember with affection
35the tough romance their hands build nothing without.

Notes

1] Tropic of Capricorn: a book written by Henry Miller (New York: Grove Press, 1963). Back to Line
3] Utica and Albany: medium-sized cities in northern New York State (Albany is in fact the state capital). Back to Line
4] twats: female genitals. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1979
Publication Notes: 
Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, The Tough Romance (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979. PS 8557 I35T68 Robarts Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2003
Rhyme: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright Pier Giorgio Di Cicco 2001