Tony Iantosca

The Couch

The people I got
the couch from
live in a condominium,
drink cocktails
or something at the top
or on the balcony. The couch
was heavy and they didn’t
help carry it down
the stairs. It wasn’t
a problem, it makes
me better, the truck
was parked illegally.
Normally this is a
fact to be appreciated
and admired but in this
case it remained
boring. The flashing lights
off, I drove the truck
home. The couch then
revealed itself to be
stained and a bit faded
but quite comfortable
and most of all free
but for the ache
of my body for a few
days after. The condo
building is regrettably
still there, the couple
now married and maybe
with a newborn and probably
a newer and better couch,
but my new old couch
is still here and the aches
have migrated to other
bodies who move
things for other
reasons. The older I get,
the more reasons accumulate
to sit on a couch
and not work,
the older I get the more
couches pile up like
football players on the curb, taken
to a landfill by morning.

Seltzer Water

I have seltzer water
in the fridge. This
is a good thing: to
have seltzer in the
fridge. All are
dominated somehow
or another
to varying degrees
and it gets worse.
People get publicly
smashed but I have
seltzer water
in the fridge,
inside an apartment
where I live. The bubbles
help when I get sick
to my stomach.

tangential daylight

swell breeze
to its breaking
this is how fast
I lost a wire
pollen’s tangent
gathers a daylight
elegy and adds it
to the sad math
reducing movie hours
to a paycheck’s
daily salad green
where the air is
better than what
we get for poems
and intrigue
can I enjoy airline
inhale over espresso’s
polished lens
I brush failure’s
remaining hair
whisper of some
bullet nobody
likes to talk about

Not looking

I used to sleep
to fire’s special
purchase on whatever
commerce I thought
would stab the
world dead but then
the gates the fingers
did shatter
registered ancient
animal cries for
a responsible antonym
balancing the moon
so blindness could rent
some headspace
when we’re not looking
or looking something up
antagonistic to what
I really wanted
the electric sleep motel
stepped out
hosting the inner
tundra on this side
while the trains go
and the trains come
and the desires
rattle their own
hearts misspelling
my name on the way
to the bank

Tony Iantosca‘s poems have appeared in 6×6, a Perimeter, Lungfull!, and Third Factory, among other places. His first full-length collection, Shut Up, Leaves (United Artists Books) was published in 2015. His second book, To the Attic is forthcoming from Spuyten-Duyvil Publishing in fall 2020. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he also teaches writing at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY).

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