Signature Piece

Snails in his poems, roadside greens,
Air-raid sounds and dictators’ bombast.
Olives grafted and blood oranges,
Larceny and justice divide him.
Red coral is rare in a deep poem,
Octopus arms and clouds of ink,
But Salvatore Ala backwards spells
A law of shared languages in rhythm,
A moving Mediterranean meditation,
A reincarnation better than his fathers
Still executing each other as spies
With children who believe their lies.
In which poet can you find an artichoke
With its heart open in a dream,
Pluck Sicilian guitar, play a mouth harp
And give the shape of life in breath.
His is the faint moan of a reed
Hearing its own exile and home.

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