“The weekend” and “To sleep” by Alissa Sammarco

"The weekend" 

We should have held hands and laughed 
on the deck, even in our winter coats.
We should have brought the speakers outside,
turned them up loud enough 
for the neighbors to hear.  
If I danced by myself, it is only because 
the cold makes your knees ache. 

I should have tried my hand at mixing a Manhattan,
pulled out the bartenders guide our son gave you,
100 And 1 Bourbons, 
before he died in his kitchen. 
I should have served them in martini glasses
with real Maraschino cherries that cost $19 a jar. 

We should have sat in plastic wicker chairs,
the tips of our shoes touching under the table.
We should have done that.
Instead, we sat in separate rooms,
stone markers to memories
of times when he was young and
his shirt was never quite tucked in.

"To sleep"

Did you cry yourself to sleep 
when the rain was a comet
making rivers through the back yard
that lit up like ice
trailing celestial missiles. 

Did you moan and shriek 
until your eyes popped from their sockets,
throat swollen tight 
no hot lemon aid and rum burns quite like that. 

And the rain tastes like 
red match tips held between your teeth 
just before they ignite 
in powder-blue flames.

If only for a moment, 
silence would smother you 
like kisses -
       they were not kisses. 

Alissa Sammarco is a writer and attorney who was drawn home to the Ohio River Valley after years in both the West and the South. She frequents the greater Cincinnati’s open mic scene and has had poems published in Sheila Na Gig Online, Black Moon Magazine, Change Seven, Lexington Poetry Month Anthology, and the online arts journal, AEQAI. Work is anticipated to be published in Orchard Street Press’ Quiet Diamonds, Evening Street Review and Main Street Rag. Alissa’s premier chapbook, Beyond the Dawn, is scheduled to be released September 2023. www.AlissaSammarco.com