top of page

To M.W.

By Gabriella Garofalo

PROMPT — What is Love?

Bad reps, twisty marriages, fractured families,

These are the gifts waves left for me

On the seashore last night—

And sure you can’t rely on light,

As she’s a mate only to preying hands,

Obsessions, skies, and rotting fruits,

As she’s hurling herself to deep grey,

A house where you hid thirst, blazing breaths,

Hope’s frantic moves,

And yes, she’s desperately looking for a shelter,

Impaired souls, and deserted places—

And yes, she’s looking among still caryatids,

While her light in a skinned hurt voice

Asks shadows and echoes

‘Is thirst really that charming?’

Certainly not, that drought when you get rid

Of dregs, and stubble—

But even fire can’t forget

Those hungry souls early in the evening,

Haunting dark rooms, stones in the courtyard,

She wondering does it matter if among hard skies

The air soothes the grass you feel,

Those surprise visits from light—

So, drop questions, drop doubts,

They might break up words, hidden dreams, stares,

Or nonchalantly desert your call—

And you stop it,disappearance, nothing to do

With my soul, stop it, leave light rest away,

The many souls and masks God gave you,

When in the deepest blue no, you thought,

Even stones fear children, creatures,

Harmful trees, the blue still alight

While you consider the red time of your lamps—

Well, never mind blue, deserted spaces, deforming mirrors,

When colours scream, and life mistakes them for light,

Or sets the words on fire to hide you,

As your soul gives the sky a dirty look—

So what? Never mind November,

If your soul is shrinking,

If mallow never thrives in your desert,

Nor transient moons help you away,

Yet you think their voice unending—

All in all, souls, limbs, are never enough,

As you let the blue rise up against your eyes—

Blue eyes, of course, even if you didn’t expect

Them, or some blue.


Gabriella Garofalo was born in Italy some decades ago. She fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at the same age, and is the author of “Lo sguardo di Orfeo”; “L’inverno di vetro”; “Di altre stelle polari”; “Casa di erba”; “Blue Branches”; and “ A Blue Soul.” Gabriella writes from Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.


bottom of page