Nicole Santalucia

Ode to My Wife after Reading Anne Bradstreet at a One Hundred and Three Year Old Farm House

Between two clouds
and two seedless grapes
and two dandelions
there are days that fall.
Between two horses
or two farm dogs
or two blackbirds
there is breath.
Between two mice
or two lightning bugs
or two blades of grass
or two fallen crab apples
there is a silent place to love.
Between two yellow wildflowers
or two fox kits or two red oak leaves
there is energy that crashes.
Between two frogs and two trees
there are two rain drops and two gusts of wind
that blow through darkness
where two stars
and two far away planets
light up the sky.

If ever two were one
then today there is one light
shining through one cloud
and one wind
and one breath.
There is one affection
that stops the stars from falling.
The wild orchids’ deeply
bedded roots grow in pairs.
It is not desire that gives them life.
It’s the grazing chickens behind the coop
and the cattle that wander away from the herd.

Nicole Santalucia is the author of The Book of Dirt (NYQ Books, 2020), Spoiled Meat (Headmistress Press, 2018), and Because I Did Not Die (Bordighera Press, 2015). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry 2019, The Rumpus, The Cincinnati Review, The Seventh Wave, The Florida Review, Lunch Ticket as well as numerous other journals and anthologies. Santalucia teaches at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and brings poetry workshops into the Cumberland County Prison.