What beautiful death there is in Madonna di Campiglio,
the peasant people frozen in ice in dance,
the slopes of Austria, and now they call it Italy,
another place you must come, one more dream to put your trust in,
and you can’t believe you’ll ever do it again,
swimming in the light and shadows where you’ve drowned,
the gum arabic and green volatilize of Valle Verzasca—
the river where you saw the diver from Lucerne go down three times,
the way you held his girlfriend, the river from the glacier,
minion and nonpareil, crystalline, his body preserved,
Russian experiment in the stone houses of Sonogno,
the ache in my body as you ease yourself against me,
the way your legs cower out, the ecstasy in your pain,
in the white under your flesh in your bones,
the risk, the knife of your spine,
and I take it, twist and turn and bludgeon it,
and the body moves, consumes all of me, and you give in,
and you die in a way too, so cold here in the Dolomites,
always writing by candlelight, the bathroom out in the hallway,
and dance without music—
the sound of your hands against the piano back in the States.
This is a reprint of work originally published in Magnolia: A Florida Journal of Literary and Fine Arts.
Jéanpaul Ferro is a novelist, short fiction author, and poet from Providence, Rhode Island. A 9-time Pushcart Prize nominee, his work has appeared on National Public Radio, Contemporary American Voices, The Columbia Review, The Emerson Review, Connecticut Review, The Cleveland Review, The Cortland Review, Portland Monthly, Arts & Understanding Magazine, Hawai’i Review, and others. He is the author of Essendo Morti – Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009), nominated for the 2010 Griffin Prize in Poetry, and Jazz (Honest Publishing, 2011), nominated for both the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize and the 2012 Griffin Prize in Poetry. He is represented by the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. His website: http://www.jeanpaulferro.com.