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Lviv In March

               Winter loses its leaves
and says what it takes, it takes

sickness gifts taking over countries
over people’s actual gifts

bright grey is the color still, can’t breathe

who put these angles in us
yes angles
we attend to their impossibilities that they become

if not possible, light-legible, which bear load

pigeons and other spring threats

old and young after work
kneeling in the aisle
the same temperature
tears for every age

blood on a long trip
leaves the hands home alone
to fend for themselves
cheering sounds in the distance

the blood looks East
acknowledging the original man who blames
broken eggs
somersaults twirling like a yolk
rinsed in the palms of a thin woman’s hand
as its whites fall away
under the faucet

better to not look into telescopes
at faraway things

let our eyes not behold
what the face cannot

or the face we pull away from the lens
is full of stones

eyes full of astral needs

the whole countenance buckling

when the world went home within hours
flew over an ochre bog
casting its bread upon the waters


               Enormous dead ceramic Christ
must stand for the innocence of the body

love and intention transfigure mediums
however poor

an answer to the question
why should one bother

who eats eats fire and spirit
a tincture
to aid digestion for the sweet paska bread

no pickles on pizza that should be the first rule
Emmanuel's shining eyes
Carpathian forged thyme

the house balances on the peak of a mountain
a humorous world
cows everywhere, large country
countless teenagers on the tram
a city sliding sideways

man and woman annoyed at the understood life

why Nazareth and why now
what the response should be in people
the arches over them
the red cloth over that, protecting the sky
from the brightness of inside spaces
when in those spaces we as persons sometimes live
as the walls are closing
and the spirit overnights itself
to itself

tick of a watch does not stand for time
the tooth of the fabric between’s
a sail to crosswinds

two-dimensions underline the real
access mystery in ways three cannot
stuck so close to home

why pretend a gift does not stand for the giver

a candle between a face
and its reflection

the wax is the lips
and the flame the trembling diamond
below the nose


NOTE: These poems are parts 3 and 4 of a sequence, excerpted from the longer poem “Lviv in March.”

Nick Maione’s work has appeared in Image, Cleveland Review of Books, The Common, and jubilat, among other journals. Infinite Arrivals, his debut collection, was published in 2023 (Angelico). Maione holds an MFA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and edits the online recitation journal Windfall Room. He is a professional iconographer and the founder/director of Orein Arts Residency in Upstate New York. His Instagram is @nmaione_.