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Poetry

Linda Laino

photo Linda Laino 3
Linda Laino is an artist, writer and teacher who has been making art in one form or another for over 35 years. Holding an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, she enjoys playing with words as much as form and color. Since 2012, she has resided in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where the surreal atmosphere and sensuous colors have wormed their way into her paintings. Finding beautiful things on the ground is a favorite pastime. Her art can be seen at www.lindalaino.com. Some of her essays and poetry can be found on Elephant Journal, The New Engagement, and Life In 10 Minutes.

The Safety of Memory

You open and close like
a silver locket a
repousse amulet
lined with a strand
of some lover’s dark hair
in the light the floral aroma
wafts from the dead shafts like
a magic elixir, in
the dark it seals the scent of a
secret like the one
you keep hidden in your chest
tick, toc

You open and close like
an anemone your
flowered tentacle
at once yielding, revealing
just a little something
fragile, protected
then you retract
gasping, as if
suddenly remembering
you are not a graceful thing
moving with the rhythm of the sea but
something trapped
in a watery grave
of your own making

You open and close
like the case you made
for leaving as if it were
the last train home
despite the thousand poems
and the golden invitation
that I wore on my sleeve‒
that faded badge hung
by every heart
that ever touched my own
and led me here to
the relative safety
of memory

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