by Lisa Marie Basile


You call it
sacred geometry.
Something about the
hands of Sicilian women
knitting the Tyrrhenian Sea.

          God continually geometrizes.
          Each finger: Sardinia, Calabria, Corsica,
          Lazio, Basilicata.

There is so much in a woman.
Would you strike her, pour
her stars down the drain?


Sicily is the basin
for all tears. Catching the
first languages of man
it cries in odd tones.

          We endanger her still,
          bind our mothers, our sisters.
          Here, first was born the sonnet.
          We cripple. How we cripple that sound.


We drink blood
in memory of Christ.
Our ankles lock at the pew,
we daydream the Lord

          into clouds, where
          he is muddled,
          into a fine drink
          of black smoke.

It is the people’s math of all good things
that deteriorates.

Lisa Marie Basile is the founding editor of Caper Literary Journal and has been published in Word Riot, Moon Milk Review, and Poets & Artists, among many others. She is the author of White Spiders, a chapbook on Gold Wake Press. She will have her full-length poetry book released by Cervena Barva Press in 2012. She currently works with PEN American Center’s Prison Writing Program and is an M.F.A. candidate at The New School. She’s earned 1st place in both poetry and fiction from Pace University’s annual writing contest. She’s read at the NYC venues KGB Bar, The Back Room (with the Poetry Brothel) and hosted a literary event at Happy Ending Lounge.

Back to Issue Nine: Fall 2010