Christina Marrocco


Venice is kissing us goodbye,

standing in the waves. It will take

some time, like my mother leaving a gathering.

But there she is buttoning her grommets.

The ice on my driveway layered itself with a

practical joker’s cruelty–one thousand banana peels,

too early in November despite all the coffee I brew.

Crawling up on all fours, I’ll devolve before I go extinct.

Barbara Kingsolver’s book isn’t keeping me up nights;

she’s just stating the obvious, the story there to wake us up

in orange and black and white–big cones on the broken road.

Characters as bullhorns, and this is not her usual way–

she’s given up subtlety in favor of torrents.

There’s but one perfect life support system for everything

that respirates and copulates and navigates around us.

Forget Mars and desperate space colonies–sucking for Oxygen.

It’s an ugly pipe dream of an ugly pipe. Self extinction.

Venice is kissing us goodbye. Up to her hips in water.


Christina Marrocco is a professor of English at Elgin Community College, Elgin, Illinois. She teaches Advanced Fiction and Poetry Writing, Literature, and Composition courses. Her focus on ethnicity in America combined with personal experience growing up in a working class Italian-American environment inform much of her creative and research work. Her dissertation work is on The Evil Eye in Italian-American Fiction, and her narrative poetry appears in The Laurel Review and Silverbirch Press.