Self Portrait – by Luigi Coppola


Out of sync I move
with the twitching light bulb,
trying to remember him:
how he stood, sounded,
the shadow he cast,
how the air tasted around him.

Delving through boxes and bags,
I found all that was left, hidden away.

I tried on his clothes:
the socks fitting
but the rest too tight,
faded in colour and style.

I opened his diary, breaking
the lock with the wrong key,
and read aloud forgotten fictions
and scenes more real than memory.

Then I found his ponytail:
wrapped in newspaper,
cut at the base,
still tied with a band,
smelling clean and new
and not grey and old
and somehow still alive
at the severed roots.



Luigi Coppola teaches and writes in London, England. Poems have/will appear in: Equinox, Fourteen, The Frogmore Papers, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Iota, Lighten Up, Magma, The Ofi Press, Orbis, Other Poetry, Pennine Platform, Poetry Digest, The Rialto, Snakeskin, South, Strange Poetry and Stride Magazine.