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Simona Carini

Simona Carini was born in Perugia, Italy. She writes poetry and nonfiction and has been published in various venues, in print and online. Her first poetry collection Cut from the Galaxy’s Heart will be published this summer by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions. She lives in Northern California with her husband, loves to spend time outdoors, and works as an academic researcher. Her website is

Dark November Evening

Not all blows announce themselves like geyser Strokkur
whose surface rises into a low dome a few seconds
before it explodes hurling boiling water at the sky.
Not all tragedies are staged in front of a blood red backdrop
under lurid yellow light with a trio playing
dissonant music searching for a chord to come to rest on.
But when the time was set at the end of the day,
when the two of us and he were the only people left
in the building, when the light in his office
was a single soft lamp that left us in shadow,
when he rustled printed sheets of paper on his desk
without looking into our eyes, in the lengthening pause
the six-letter word detonated in our ears,
so when he lifted his head and started talking,
we were already stranded in a private darkness,
not even holding hands for fear our fingers
would find nothing but a thread cut short.
I should have known by the late hour, the black sky
shrouding the empty medical building
that we would step into cancer’s night.


I’d spend summer hours picking pinoli.
Pinus pinea cones open like flowers, drop
hard seeds coated in black powder. With a stone
held in my small hand I split shell after shell,
released the resin-scented sweet morsels.
Stone-splitting with blackened sticky fingers
made the pile of pine nuts and joy grow,
treasures I brought home.
Stone pines,
guardians of my childhood’s quiet time
busy amusing myself alone
beneath branches giving me shelter, shade:
far from the child carrying shelled pine nuts
in cupped hands, like pearls, under redwood trees
I treasure contented solitude, your gift.