Night Train Through Inner Mongolia
    Anthony Piccione
Now the child is a runny-nosed stranger
you've finally decided to share your seat with,
and the whole thing keeps heaving into the dark.

The child sleeps unsweetly hunched against you,
your side is slowly stinging, he has wet himself,
so you do not move at all. I know you.

You sit awake, baffling about a quirky faith,
and do not shift until morning. This is why
you are blessed, I think, and usually chosen.

Early Morning Farewell to Bernie Schuster

    Anthony Piccione
Slumped at the table, alive to the words of one who survived
until yesterday, what can I offer except to weep into my hands?
But a sudden music pushed out through the radio, a surprise
rises in the chest, a sweeping half-memory of Persia, or Syria,
Jerusalem maybe, the strong softness of women in dance,
the wisp of wind, the evening hushing down its moist whisper.

What have I been welcomed into so easily? That time
goes on furling around our feet in delicate surround? That
what has left us keeps arriving, returned, just out of reach?
I'll taste this delight, I think, for my friend so still in body,
so majestically now a part if the breeze, dust, air, figs, shouts,
so much the shiver of breath, shoulder, veil, so nearly always near.

Anthony Piccione was born in Sheffield, Alabama and raised on Long Island. He was the author of four collections of poetry from BOA Editions, Ltd.: The Guests at the Gate (2002), For the Kingdom (1995), Seeing It Was So (1986), and Anchor Dragging (1978, chosen by Archibald MacLeish for BOA's A. Poulin, Jr. New Poets of America Series). As Professor Emeritus of English and creative writing at the State University of New York College at Brockport, Piccione taught at Upright Hall, the writers' retreat at his Crow Hill Farm in Prattsburgh, New York. His poems, interviews, essays, and reviews have appeared in dozens of magazines and journals. Anthony Piccione died in November 2001.


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