Marcene Gandolfo

Lorca’s Guitar

You say a scar is just a line of music, written to skin, a string of notes, a row of old shirts that trembles a clothesline. Last night, I traced my scar in the cold light, as I rose from a hot bath that turned tepid. I remembered how my infant daughter loved water until she listened to the pull of the drain. I guess we all cry in the fear of disappearing. I’d towel her wet body, rock her against my chest until I’d hear her exhale. Tonight she sings in a distant city, strums a gypsy guitar. I miss her music when the teakettle’s shrill cuts winter air. Tonight my old scar rests inside a soft robe, by a warm teacup, near a fireplace, where the last kindling collapses to ash. Even the dying fire keeps my feet warm. Tonight I let the scar exhale.

Marcene Gandolfo’s poems have been published widely in literary journals, including Poet Lore, Bellingham Review, december, and RHINO. In 2014, her debut book, Angles of Departure, won Foreword Reviews’ Silver Award for Poetry. She has taught writing and literature at several northern California colleges and universities.