Two Poems

by Juan Pablo Mobili

Ars Moriendis

“Hollow spoons in hollows bowls”
—CD Wright from “The Obscure Lives of Poets”

The poem has
an unbearable echo,
a beautiful bowl
with nothing to offer.

The spoon is disappointed,
it waited all day to scoop
and taste
something truthful.

The poem is fresh-out of risk,
it knows itself too well,
it bears none of the surprise
children take risks for,
it reeks of style,
smells stale as most agendas.

The poem claims
to pour its heart out
but it sounds like
an old lie,
no invitation to gasp,
like children daring to say
words that don’t exist,

risking to sing them
out of tune
at the top of their lungs.

What My Body Remembers

For Victoria and her son, my grandmother and my father.

I can taste moments before words build a scaffold to remembrance,
and scents that turn my chest to stone or invite a deep breath.
I can smell the jasmine my grandmother planted even before
my father was a desire in her uterus, or watched the single bloom
floating in a small glass, by the bed in which she died.
Before I scribbled my first letters, I touched
the cheap satin of Argentinian notebooks,
and heard the oh’s and ah’s of the love that I was given.
I learned then the taste of something genuine in my tongue.
Bitter, harsh, blinding and deafening came later, when I began
to notice the texture of her sadness hidden behind my father’s smile.
Until then, it was satin, a desire in an uterus longing to bloom,
and the scent of the jasmine my grandmother planted
before words built a scaffold to remembrance, when its scent
could invite a deep breath or grow on a scaffold leaning against stone.