Of Fish and Smoke

When I needed her to
catch me, my mother, too
was a child, in rust-
curtained rooms—her father’s
baritone knifing cricket
night, thumbs rank with
scaled fluke, breath of
gin, bowling shorts
spattered red. She took
cover below, a periscope
of girl made of Russian
novels and paintbrush, dreams
of tea-time with God.

My father’s baritone
blasted hearts into
powder, his yellow
cigarette hands, breath
a patina of grief.
I hid above, a drone
boy made of baseball
and books, dreams
of Senegal and Peru,
fishing boats and
ruins—the rag
in mother’s lap
about to fall.


by Matt Pasca


From Cagibi Issue 1: Four Poems from Matt Pasca


Matt Pasca.jpeg

Matt Pasca is a poet, teacher and traveler who believes in art’s ability to foster discovery, empathy and justice. His first book-length collection, A Thousand Doors (2011), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his second, Raven Wire (2016), was selected as a Finalist for the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Award. Individual poems have appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies, including Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Naugatuck River Review, Oberon, Paterson Literary Review, English Journal, Weave, Georgetown Review, Wordpeace and The Pedestal Magazine. A 2003 New York State Teacher of Excellence, Matt teaches Poetry, Mythology and Literature, advises an award-winning literary-art magazine, The Writers’ Block, and runs a visiting writers program at his school on Long Island. Pasca also curates Second Saturdays @Cyrus, a vibrant poetry series, with his wife, author Terri Muuss, and performs his work, keynotes, and teaches workshops at cafés, libraries, colleges, conferences and continuing Ed. programs around the country. www.mattpasca.com


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