Author: Marilyn Cavicchia

I was not a benevolent god,
only because I didn’t know how to be.
Chief among my failures was

that I didn’t know how to build
houses; without walls around them,
people aren’t happy for very long.

Often, my people would look at me
in angry disbelief, and it’s just as well
that I didn’t understand their words,

though I could certainly read the symbols:
mushroom clouds and lightning bolts,
nothing good. Never any thanks for

what I could provide: a pinball machine,
a potted plant, a striped chair, a TV.
All of this, they ruined, sooner or later—

no better sense than to set a fire
in the kitchen while warming a pizza,
no idea that garbage should be taken out.

They would live in their own filth
if I let them, oversleep and never go
to work if I didn’t wake them.

Even now, they sleep somewhere,
on a disk in a desk drawer, or on
the old, dead computer that is

probably still in our basement.
I regret that I couldn’t do more,
having called them forth only to

let them down. But not every creation
is a good creation; not every game
was meant to go on forever.

 

Contributor’s Notes: Marilyn Caviccia has a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Journalism from Ohio University. She lives in Chicago, where she is an editor at the American Bar Association, as well as a freelance editor and writer. Her poems have appeared in Cider Press ReviewNaugatuck River ReviewThe Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and Alimentum: The Literature of Food. You can follow her at http://marilyncavicchiaeditorpoet.wordpress.com.

Over the canned announcements on the train,

she continues to tell me about the birth of Titans,

how Cronus swallowed his own babies, and how

you would think the world began with Zeus,

but he was once a baby, and the world began

instead with Gaea, Mother Earth. I wanted

to tell her that it’s all myth—not just those

ancient stories, but others, too:

the patient turtle that holds us upright,
we people made of clay and rib. So many
ways to organize a world. So many things
to understand, however we can.

Left unfinished is any idea of how
to tell her our myths, too, the ones
I spent Sundays learning, week by week,
craft by craft. Apostles’ boats of Ivory
soap, woven willow twigs signifying
something (baskets, perhaps, for loaves
and fishes?). It’s different when
the myths are still living, still asking
to be believed, when there is
a prickle you can’t deny

before you throw away the Bible tract,
when the church bells sing a song
you still remember.
Someday, I want to give her
these things, too: a giant boat,
a pillar of salt, a god-man-ghost
leaping, unseen but recognized,

welcomed.

 

Contributor’s Notes: Marilyn Caviccia has a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Journalism from Ohio University. She lives in Chicago, where she is an editor at the American Bar Association, as well as a freelance editor and writer. Her poems have appeared in Cider Press ReviewNaugatuck River ReviewThe Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and Alimentum: The Literature of Food. You can follow her at http://marilyncavicchiaeditorpoet.wordpress.com.

Yarroway, Yarroway, bear a white blow,

One of the herbs dedicated to the Evil One
yet daubed by Achilles (except on his heel?),
loved by butterflies, hummingbirds, bees,
none of whom need to know if another
loves them back, none of whom need
any secret spells to determine by.

If my love love me, my nose will bleed now.

If my love love me, we are only in the garden,
crushing aromatic leaves in our fingers,
ignorant of any history less happy than this
present, blameless of curses, spells.
Devil’s Nettle. Bad Man’s Plaything.

Bitterish, astringent
yarrow.

 

Contributor’s Notes: Marilyn Caviccia has a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Journalism from Ohio University. She lives in Chicago, where she is an editor at the American Bar Association, as well as a freelance editor and writer. Her poems have appeared in Cider Press ReviewNaugatuck River ReviewThe Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and Alimentum: The Literature of Food. You can follow her at http://marilyncavicchiaeditorpoet.wordpress.com.