Michelle Reale

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft) A Maid Asleep, ca. 1656–57 Oil on canvas


The pale , spotted fruit in a cracked bowl was like a subtle offering to an angry, and far away god. A woman can predict the future in the arterial formations of cracks in the bridal dinnerware. Domestic boredom is nefarious if left unchallenged. All those buttons on all those blouses and the fingers are constantly in motion. Half-cooked meals are interrupted by feverish bellowing, invoking the flight of rondini, a heartsick longing for the conveyance of swift flight to the familiar and terrible , the place where you cannot return. The rind of the stubborn lemon under the cursed tongue was only a momentary palliative. Light the candles during the day before the dark grabs you around the throat. Separate the meat from the warm vine tomatoes, the right atrium from the superior vena cava, and our moral lapses from our inevitable familiar limitations.

Falcon ca. 1200–1220 South Italian

Michelle Reale is the author of Season of Subtraction (Bordighera Press,, 2019) and In the Blink of a Mottled Eye (Kelsay Books, 2020) among others.  She is the founding and managing editor of OVUNQUE SIAMO: New Italian-American Writing. She has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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