Arrivederci!, Plastic-Covered Couch
by Frank Giorno
The furniture in my mother’s living room
Came in threes
The "Arm Chair, the Love Seat and the Holy Couch"
We couldn't sit on them –
They were for show.
It was on a hot, humid July day
When my parents toiled
In factories baking like meat in the oven,
That I, in youthful summer heat,
Felt the pleasure of her naked skin
As our bodies entwined got stuck to the "Holy Couch"
And its sacred plastic wrap,
As we headed to our first coming,
With a quiver and a crack that sounded like thunder –
She thought it was love, but I knew it was a rupture
That would unravel Mom’s enjoyment of the rapture.
She was stuck on me, I was stuck on her
And together we were stuck on
My mother’s plastic-covered couch
Long enough for mom to arrive at our second coming
The earthly kind – not the heavenly one
She was waiting for.
When Mom died she left behind
The tattered plastic-covered couch,
Which dad now slept on, as if it was
His salvation, until he too was taken
And buried in that fourth level
Of the mausoleum crypt in Prospect Cemetery
Closer to heaven, which was
In the sky and further from hell,
Which was underground.
We took the memories of
The ocean crossing: glasses, blankets, religious icons
Cracked black and white photos,
Odd, misshaped glass sugar bowls,
Sprung Swiss alarm clocks
A few simple clay dishes and spaghetti bowls
The rest we left behind.
We carried the plastic-covered couch
Out through the backdoor
And placed it by the curb
Tear drops rolled down my eyes
As if I were burying it along with Mom and dad
Good-bye, plastic-covered couch.
New Book by Longbridge
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