À la Sicilienne

My father cuts hair at Cinema Paradiso.
I see him in barbershop mirrors
Like time is repeated on eternity’s reel.

My cousin owns a purgatorial liquor store.
As it was on earth, wine and rapture.
As it will be at rebirth, wine and rapture.

My grandfather shivers like a boy
Even though he’s crossing a lava pit:
Empedocles between love and the void.

My aunt knits ground snail covers
Fit for the gardens of an earthly nirvana
And cradles of dead, infant, elder brothers.

My mother is like a Greek statue
Who gave birth to music in stone,
The triumph of death in the mirror of bone.

Killing Apollo

Apollo’s head in a Zurich antiquarians,
A dead godhead with a paper price tag,
Much like the other mediocrities of Europe
On sale—composers, fiddlers and writers
Like that cracked bust of Goethe,
All embarrassments of conscience.

But who killed Apollo? Who’d want
To kill a god of beauty, order and knowledge,
And for what reason, what gain,
Decapitate the sun of justice,
Sever the hands of science and medicine
And inter them in regression,
Murder the protector of the innocent
And exploit the violence of profit,
Hiding in plain sight like lies in language.

We’ll never know who did the killing,
Buried in earth’s arcane history
Apollo’s torso and assassin lay side by side.