for a new translation

language cassandra einstein

Italian words and phrases
she prints on slips of paper
sticks them onto house nouns
to speak their strangeness to
her in a newly quiet life

salt shaker…saliera…she
speaks the word softly
tastes its spice upon her tongue
tilts cut glass into sunlight
spikes refractions to her wall

an empty copper bowl…
citola di rame
a crystal vase in shadow…
vaso di cristallo nelle ombre

she gathers lavender…lavanda
and lilacs…lilla…to grace
a table set for one…tavolo
da pranzo per uno

she thinks tristezza….and
tastes salt upon her lips


Bonnie Marshall

Art by Cassandra Einstein

imperfect arabesque

acrobat-on-tightrope-henri-de-toulouse-lautrec (1)

murmur laughter call-outs purled
and swirled her periphery…where
chromatic images blurred vision
field to fog…dry-grass apples night

the high wire spindled space
beneath the plexus of her feet
for transition of a plane
beyond compress-ed gravity

the lifting of her arms…was all
for palming of the air to balance
accounting  compass of her orient
without pretense net…without prop
of attitude for imperfect arabesque


Bonnie Marshall

Art by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec

for deep need of edges

francois knopf castle cat

and…we shall go to someplace
by the sea for deep need of edges
there…having swung long in days
cocooned and rocked in space
of seconds…minutes…hours
of our forwarding in time

and…we shall listen to the cat
and regulate our breathing
to nothing but its purr…
blur our sensing to its
mesmerizing burr against
our knowing metronome

and…we shall dismiss
chance rice cake words,
so devoid of season to the
tasting of our thoughts…and
we shall seek only limits to
our consciousness of touch

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Francois Knopf