Sandra Yannone

Riuniti on the Rocks at Night

There are too many, far too many women to provoke
a wish that they could return to my kitchen, or
sit beneath the willow tree in my front yard. There is one
who is inside a Zoom square now, here. I met her
when we weren’t inside squares staring through glass.
I came in for breakfast after a walk on the beach
outside the Sylvia Beach Hotel, and there she sat
next to the bowl of lemon wedges. Her hair flamed
copper, but I couldn’t see anything past her gleaming
face. The rest is history, as they say, or don’t. I loved her
too deeply, too quickly, could only hear my own heart
clamoring against the kitchen pans. I didn’t listen well
to her voice, which I loved, didn’t hear her say no
the first time my questions surfaced from the sea,
didn’t listen the next time, or the next time, or the next
time after that. I just downed drink after drink of her
from stolen glass bottles like the ones I used to drink
on the Rocky Beach at night with Susan in high school,
Riuniti wine, to drown in our closets. But now I just love
her. Easy. No pain mixed in with the pleasures
of knowing her, with knowing myself. And even though
I long to sit next to her after a morning walk on a beach,
eager for breakfast, desirous for dinner, a catered lunch,
or just dessert, I can wait. I am patient. She can live
far away in her square, far away in this pandemic,
and I can bask here in my smoke-draped town, here
from my square, knowing that love
endures all these uncharted distances.

link to video 

Sandra Yannone’s The Glass Studio was published in February, 2024, the follow-up to her debut Boats for Women, in 2019. Both published by Salmon Poetry. Her poetry and book reviews have appeared widely in numerous literary outlets like SWWIM Every Day, Calyx, Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, Women’s Review of Books, and The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. Since March, 2020, she has hosted the online reading series Cultivating Voices LIVE Poetry. From 2020-21, she was honored to host The Collectibles, a monthly series sponsored by Headmistress Press.