Two Poems by Michael Mercurio



Trees and Field

Providence, RI

Existential Field Notes: Diner

            If secrets are transmitted here
            no neon will say, just the same
            on-unless-it’s-off messages of
            abundance. Bottomless coffee,
            sure, and five pages of menu —

            one alone for pie and pudding,
            art deco Jell-O. Decades ago I
            nestled in a vinyl booth while
            outside Providence thrummed
            deeply into the graveyard shift.

            The Silver Top no longer sits
            adrift in a field of periwinkle
            gravel; I’ve heard it’s reborn,
            polished chrome and all, some-
            where new. Imagine: placed so

            gently that no sutures remain,
            two tones of blue tile tesseled
            from floors upward. Counter
            service and booth service. Go
            and sit. Find time, ease hunger.


A Frame House

Hancock, ME

Fingers are an invitation

                              a branched
gathering          inspecting the world
     even if you doubt       evolution
     as what drove    them to be

the world desires contact
tapped out    in each digit’s
time     & so souls (even if
             you doubt

             them    as adherents
             to our bodies’   ancient ruins)

crave context     typed into being
along filter-tipped nerves   gangled
slick & dry  beyond the wrist’s

stiff terminal.   Here it’s morning,
 early June under
                              grey ceiling, I’m awake

& barefoot     on wide pine boards
that stick slightly      in this open-sash

   season’s humidity, slick varnish
    making plain short-lived damp ghosts

            of heel and toe.


Michael Mercurio lives and writes in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in Palette Poetry, Sierra (the magazine of the Sierra Club), Lily Poetry Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Sugar House Review, The Inflectionist Review, and elsewhere. You can find out more about Michael at

Two Poems by Michael Mercurio

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