We honeymooned in the Bee Gees’
hometown. The manor’s owner
served us kangaroo, her manner
matter of fact, medium-rare. She said
the ferry to the reef, the reason we were
there, no longer ran. It’s all bleached out,
they shut it down a year ago. A better
planner or English speaker might have
known about the ferry, winced at manor
for bungalow. More Than a Woman
played incessantly the summer I changed
bedpans at Miller’s Merry Manor
for five dollars an hour. I was sixteen.
Years later, old but newlywed,
I left Down-Under plans to you.
Your English was so-so.
Calm but taciturn after your first
caffé with Matteo in years, you slip,
call me your first wife’s name—
light, clear. I know you better
than to inquire tonight. We drink
Grey Goose, which may result
in rage. My sister teaches ethics
at a lectern with an AS button.
Redbubble sells The Supreme
Gentleman, the Santa Barbara
shooter’s selfie t-shirt to red-pill
incels who troll the Manosphere.
Tell me in daylight what he wants.
The Roman aunts & Chiara,
for whom, at forty, he’s a boy,
blame me. He calls our one-
bedroom on the parkway
la casa di mio padre.
She came from Chios, but steered clear
of the water, sat on our redwood deck
unsmiling in her heavy black.
Named for the muse of eloquence
& epic poetry, she rarely spoke,
said I have many compliment the time
Mom asked if all her folks were short.
Pappous was dead, but she enjoyed
Dad’s dive into our chlorinated pool
in long red trunks, royal blue stripes
down his flanks. Ligo means little,
some. She cooked dolmothes,
moussaka in the annex over
our garage, watched Merv Griffin.
I never saw her with a book.
Open the light, honey,
she said. If there was cake,
she’d take a ligo bit.
Hilary Sideris’ poems have appeared in recent issues of The American Journal of Poetry, Barrow Street, Bellevue Literary Review, Okay Donkey, OneArt, Room, Salamander, and Sixth Finch, among others. She is the author most recently of Un Amore Veloce (Kelsay Books 2019), The Silent B (Dos Madres Press 2019), and Animals in English, poems after Temple Grandin (Dos Madres Press 2020).