Life in the Second Circle by Michael Cantor

Life in the Second Circle

I live on a beach with a woman who hates pigeons.
This is not the piazza di
popoli she yells, pegging salt-swept stones

at them: I share a house with Anna Magnani – she
emerged sad-eyed, years back, from an out-of-date
old film cassette, talking too much, absurdly

big red mouth bursting with kisses: all that first night
we loved and laughed and spoke of life, and she devoured
my grilled squab putanesca with a whore’s bold appetite.

We live in cinematic garlic-spatteredness, my hard-
life love and I, with recondite Fellini dreams
and black-and-white De Sica screens – the outside world

can’t reach this beach. They all are pigeons, Anna screams
Their asses spread, they flap their wings, their shit is everywhere.
We tumble to the kitchen floor; make love amidst tomato streams.

by Michael Cantor

Editor’s Note: This poem’s voice is dominated not by the narrator, but by the narrator’s lover. The drama is a shocking delight.