Expatriate in Rome – by Emilio Iasiello

 

starving there, sitting around the cafes
at night, passing wine
with another vagabondo,
the smell of Rome
cast up in arcs of fresh pasta
and grilled veal

I suddenly think how lire
goes farther than dollars
if you know how to spend them
the way being lost
in a city
is the only way to become its native
without speaking the language
but knowing its streets
knowing where to bum
a drink or bed
or
that two blocks away from the pantheon
is a bar where Angelo feeds you
if you just mention the words
new york
and I remember the time
(short on cash)
I found a package
wrapped in newspaper
written in english
and uncovered a treasure
of bread and cheese,
a warm can of beer,
and ate in the intimacy of an alley
thinking life would be perfect
if I only had
the racing form
or funny pages.

 

 

Emilio has written two books: a collection of short stories, Why People do What They Do, and a nonfiction narrative, Chasing the Green. He has also written for the stage and screen and has had numerous works produced in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and London, UK. His film credits can be found here

Coffee – by Emilio Iasiello

For Maggie

 

Before you left, I said
you were too beautiful for me.
That much is still true.
The wonder I feel when you sit across
from me sipping coffee
is the same fear that claws up my spine
when I think of you in Guatemala now –
sharing the afternoon light with some guapo
street side, the espresso cup
pressed firmly between your capable fingers –
or maybe
drinking plain ol’ American
with another student
missing his girlfriend as much
as you miss me
a candle flame between you
its small confession in light –
discovering in a mistake of passion
that loneliness
is what’s uncovered with your hands,
its heightened breath on your neck,
a touch or two.
I know it’s foolish
but my life is spent thinking
one day, praying the next.
I stare at the stained ring
in my cup, the bitter grounds
stuck mercilessly to the bottom
and I suddenly think, hot,
black, as if there’s no better way
to torture myself.
When I drink coffee,
I’m really
trading one life for another.

 

 

 

Emilio has written two books: a collection of short stories, Why People do What They Do, and a nonfiction narrative, Chasing the Green. He has also written for the stage and screen and has had numerous works produced in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and London, UK. His film credits can be found here