Suburban Eclogue

Volgar succede … (Leopardi)

Again, the streets empty this early hour,
Sunday evening, except those two
Walking their pugs before the work week starts,
There in the middle of the widened streets
As the occasional car passes by.
With the girl next door called for dinner and homework,
The lone dribbling has ceased. My summer break,
This visit home, the internship, my room …
And dusk turns on the porch lights; yards make sure
That facing windows here are far apart.
While I’m de-veining snow peas (with enough
To save for lunch tomorrow) and boiling water,
I wait for deer to gather on the lawns
And driveways as they nightly do. And soon
Parents will close their windows just as Mom,
Between work and dinner and her lonesome bed,
Did for the room which Matt and I bunked in.
With tongue clicks, we, as kids, would beckon the deer
Set in our driveway, anxious, seeking to be
Looked at with another kind of sight.

Gerald Maa is a poet, translator, and performance artist whose work has received support from places such as the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio, the Library of Congress Asian Reading Room, and the International Center for Writing and Translation. A founding editor-in-chief of the Asian American Literary Review, he currently resides in Los Angeles, where he is also pursuing a Ph.D. in literature at the University of California, Irvine.
*Photo courtesy of maureen_sill.
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