Caper's Poets

Translation — Caroline Depalma


the dawn sky sets into pearl and smoke,

year’s now passed through itself.

America, a still warship on the horizon at mourning,

university t-shirts underneath uniforms

of the executed and on the battlefield we can find

our anatomy lessons.  


ma’a ssa’lāma, lā afham

we don’t want you here  


hiding in the phosphorous rain is the man

I have no longer sought out to marry.

His confessions now write home to me

in gunpowder and spit, the uncertain hand

of a lost spirit.


Filed under: Caroline Depalma, Issue 3,

Speed — Caroline Depalma

I don’t know how

a record player works, why you have

to place the needle on an exact

glossy wrinkle or it will scratch

and force your Dean Martin

to sound like Al Pacino.

I don’t understand

the patience sewing takes, or anything

about banking from underneath

a mattress.

Yesterday, you positioned your hands

around the steering wheel and drove

me to church. Now, I’m the one driving 65

miles per hour in a 45 zone by the lake,

and you’re slamming

your foot against the floorboard,

an invisible break

you are convinced

should exist on the passenger’s side. A tree

is coming up fast, on the corner & you say

slow down but I won’t- not because I enjoy

defiance, but because I know you

won’t be able to see each

ridge on the bark.

As I speed past, I beg you to think of

the first time you heard your parents

slap each other, or saw your brother

cut your Barbie’s hair—

anything that counteracts

this outside beauty of

those trees, your eyesight, how

Grandpa would look over his shoulder

before dropping us off downtown.

I’m afraid of the speed at which

everything is replaced.

Filed under: Caroline Depalma, Issue 2

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