Amy Soricelli: 2 Poems

If I Went Back to School it Would be For Everything

My lost books can be blamed on the scratches 

on the desk with the names like deep holes in the earth.

Pens and knives carving out letters from your eyes.

No one in the back is listening.

If you wear red they will find you after class it was

green yesterday.

If you don't listen to the whispers you won't know;

your hair gets wrapped in a fist and there is no tomorrow.

Is that the ice-cream truck. I think I hear the ice-cream truck.


Those desolate mornings on line with all the others 

eyes drilling holes into the broken concrete.

Caught bees on a frozen roof.

Hair tied up in a knot not screaming look at me

down the length of your back.

If it is long with spinning ribbons or plastic balls

it will get caught in angry windy fingers;

scissors like magic from behind their backs

your ponytail on your desk before the bell rings.


She won't explain it again. She is afraid, watches the clock.

Blurry chalk against the green board the coded symbols 

won't settle into my head before dinner.

Hope there is no test on this.

Her voice is black tape across her mouth.

No one in the front is listening.

I bet she cries to her mother every night.

How the velocity she teaches after lunch cannot

carry the space in her soul.


There are chapters ripped from my book.

A whole war is missing. 

There is gum holding together my brain.

Dead air caught in the spine.

Classroom walls designed in deep green peeled paint; 

fairy dust on my shoes.

Don't go to the bathroom.

Heard it is a tunnel with bats; they cut your hair in there.

And no, I never read that one either.


 She Doesn't Sleep That Well, Really

I sleep on top of bridges when I think there will be a dark

spot on the sun or if I think I am getting a headache,

I will put together last thoughts and scream them

down a tunnel.

No money in my pocket you see my head

filled with cardboard boxes sleeping curled-up

hands around my face.

My old boss walks by not surprised.

My loss of a word escaping in a stumbling sentence,

I am caught in red tape and MRI's, 

convinced I will walk around distorted 

by new voices in my head.

Few sneezes and I imagine permanent bubbles 

of protective wrap, and notes slipped lovingly 

through slots or zippers.

People say - they ask - why go there so fast so speedy

down the bleak road of desperation.

Safe, I say, to be waiting there with boxing gloves

and purple hat.

If you're early you get to sit in front.

Amy Soricelli has been in the field of career education and staffing for over 30 years. A lifelong Bronx resident, she has been published in Grub Street, Camelsaloon, Versewrights, The Starving Artist, Picayune Press, Deadsnakes, Corvus review, Deadbeats, Cantos, Poetrybay, The Blue Hour Magazine, Empty Mirror, Turbulence magazine, Bloodsugar Poetry, Little Rose magazine, The Caper Journal, CrossBronx, Long Island Quarterly, Blind Vigil Review, Isacoustic, Poetry Pacific, Underfoot, Picaroon Poetry, Vita Brevis, Voice of Eve, Uppagus, The Long Islander, The Pangolin Review, Plum Tree Tavern, Red Queen Literary Magazine, Terse Journal. Ethel5, as well as several anthologies. *Chapbook, Dancing Girl Press, Summer 2019. Nominated by Billy Collins for Emerging Writer's Fellowship/2019, Nominated for Sundress Publications "the best of the net" award 6/13, and recipient of Grace A. Croff Memorial Award for Poetry, Herbert H. Lehman College, 1975

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