Forget all the boyfriends you have never made peace with
because meanwhile men have never looked better in their
tight pants. And women with their great legs angled just so
ride sky blue Vespas as nightfall gluts the street
with an incredible clatter of orange crates and aluminum scales.
Forget the end of every movie you have ever seen
because riding the bus past Firenze’s orange roofs
and their myriad bisecting angles is enough turbulence
and resolution for one blessed day. Forget how you look
in a bathing suit and your passionate yearning to be twenty-two:
here you are on the altar of all good things pressed down
where the azure vaults of the transcendent churches
collect gold stars thick as pastina you can lick off a spoon;
where fiery wings of travailing angels are by osmosis
making you astoundingly rich and beautiful. Carissima spirit,
forget being born again, you’ve tried that too many times.
Try something useful, like buying a pair of those pointy, sequined
shoes that could make an American geometry class fall on its knees
to right angles; then, take the stupid things you have done
for a walk past the setting domes of western civilization!
You really were born here and that is enough to get you started,
to make you rapturous and ready to fall in love again with,
among other things, the fabulous bread of your fortunate life.
“Lee Briccetti’s poems have humor, wit, and quickness of empathy and imagination, as she ‘unmakes and unmakes’ such things as charm and force of personality, to consider questions of character. Her thought moves back and forth in time and between two cities, (psyches) of visible history—New York and Rome—and gravely accompanies us, wishing to lead wisely, into our Western night.” —Jean Valentine
“Just when you figure Lee Briccetti couldn’t possibly give anything more to American Poetry, along comes this surprising first book, vivid, bittersweet (in the best sense of the term), perfectly balanced between art and heart. How wonderful to discover that as she was shoring up the roof and walls of Poets House, she was also building this other space, where word, flesh, memory, and our urban desires (and dreads) can freely and fully co-mingle. Reading Day Mark will leave you at times near breathless over the way the image, the music and deep invention of the poet slot together. The really grand books of poetry hold many wondrous and terrible worlds. Here, dear reader, in your hands, you hold the door, and the key to one of these. You shouldn’t wait to know what she knows.” —Cornelius Eady