Tall Tony’s Poem by Brian Fanelli

In workshop, Tall Tony rises,
bites his bottom lip, confesses,
Every night, I dream of living in a house.

We listen to him recall the day his dad left,
how the thud of the front door
rattled kitchen plates.

He then raises his gaze,
looks at us through smudged glasses,
shuffles to his seat in knockoff Nikes.

We console him with soft nods,
tell him, Great lines.
His lips curve into a smile.

Before we exit, I give him
one more prompt, watch his hand
seize the pen and prime another poem.

His mom pulls up in her dinged-up Subaru,
raises her fingers to her lips,
blows a kiss to us for listening.

Brian Fanelli
Brian Fanelli’s most recent book is Waiting for the Dead to Speak (NYQ Books). His work has been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, Verse Daily, The Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere. His poetry has also been featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. He has an M.F.A from Wilkes University and a Ph.D. from Binghamton University. He teaches at Lackawanna College.