A Poem by Jennifer Martelli

Jennifer Martelli

Jennifer Martelli

Jennifer Martelli is the author of The Uncanny Valley (Big Table Publishing Company, 2016) and My Tarantella (forthcoming, Bordighera Press). She is also the author of After Bird from Grey Book Press. Her work has appeared in Thrush, [Pank], Glass Poetry Journal, Cleaver, The Heavy Feather Review, Italian Americana, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal.  Jennifer Martelli has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Prizes and is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is a book reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly as well as the co-curator for The Mom Egg VOX Folio.


My son Michael grows into his German Shepherd

hands. Last night, he cupped a bowl of miso soup, asked 

about death. It’s all the same, Vin said, when we die

it shouldn’t change the relationship. I hated him 

at the Japanese restaurant, hated him on the way home,

hated only as a wife can, and so I asked if he ever once  

practiced introspection, ever once phoned a friend who was dead.

Well, I talk to you. His eyes were so level: amber tortoise-shell cups

I took from my parents’ house—after—when we cleaned it out

to sell. How could I stay mad? How could I not fill those cups 

with clips, loose beads, a mottled stone?