Red Diamonds

by Jéanpaul Ferro

You are beautifully concise,
like a rower on the Charles,
liquid when I try to hold you,
accidental music when I try to leave,

all through the New England evenings
fire shivers orange/gold amid the campsites
down below the mountains,

we make up stories to keep each other
amused, men who turn into elephant cinders,
women who fight like moonlight in the sky,

“Don’t kiss her,” you always write
in your suicide notes.
“Don’t marry him,” I always scribble over
your wedding invitations.

No wonder no one else wants me,
no wonder everyone wants to know me,
someone tells me you are the art of fiction,
I think you are the sound of wind in the palms,
a million little prayers to God from all his misled children,

I want to share you, but only a little,
a naked piece here, a naked piece there,
naked on the rooftops,
I want all the good Brazilian pieces for myself,
the ancient, smooth parts like the inside of cake,
some parts that are as old as Jerusalem,
some parts that are pierced and narrow and need a vow,
maybe I will take all of you, you’d like that,

you’d like turquoise waves over your bronze body, too,
you’d like it if we rode turtles across the Indian Ocean,
you’d like it if I wrote poems, like this one,
with your curved and brown body turning on every word.

Essendo Morti - Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009)

Jéanpaul Ferro's picture

A 10-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jéanpaul Ferro’s work has appeared on National Public Radio, Contemporary American Voices, Columbia Review, Emerson Review, Connecticut Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Portland Monthly, Rattle Magazine, Arts & Understanding Magazine, and others. He is the author of All The Good Promises (Plowman Press, 1994), Becoming X (BlazeVox Books, 2008), You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers (Thumbscrew Press, 2009), Hemispheres (Maverick Duck Press, 2009) 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. Website: * E-mail:

Last updated August 30, 2011