Poems by Michael Carrino

Michael Carrino has an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College. He is

a retired English lecturer at the State University College at Plattsburgh,

New York, where he was co-editor and poetry editor of the Saranac

Review and still works as an associate poetry editor for that journal.. His

publications include Some Rescues, (New Poets Series, Inc.) Under This

Combustible Sky, (Mellen Poetry Press), Café Sonata, (Brown Pepper

Press), and Autumn’s Return to the Maple Pavilion (Conestoga Zen

Press), as well as individual poems in numerous journals and reviews. A

fifth book of poetry is forthcoming from Guernica Press, Montreal/Toronto


Take One

In this scene bare elm branches

reach into a purple sky.

Wearing a black wool coat

Anja will stand near

a deep, gray river–

blonde hair curled, tousled

in a chilled wind.

Anja’s pale hands

will disappear behind her back.

Anja will turn slowly

to face a forest path–

narrow, beckoning.

It will always be late

October twilight. Anja

will always be prepared–

take two, take three. Anja

will always be willing,

eager to never change.

Sapphire, Hummingbird


Transparent blue corundum, translucent

Crystal, Purple blue,

deeper hyacinth blue, or Mazarine

stronger than cyanine

blue, a greener Peking or light Japan

blue, maybe Flemish blue.

I imagine one blue-throated hummingbird

in Brazil, where I have

never traveled, rare as any precious stone.

I consider you enticed – hummingbird, sapphire,

willing to be lured

away from cold New England sky, stained blue wind,

charmed by crystal, an exquisite wing.

Ciao! Ciao!

Imagine an elite model beckoning

a cab with one manicured finger.

Diamonds dust her platinum necklace,

thin straps on soft Malono Blahniks.

Imagine slick covers of Vogue,

Elle and Cosmopolitan. Cameras

always poised in Venice,

Paris, Rome or Barcelona.

Later, quiet for one night,

she’s entranced by Márquez, Neruda,

intently read by dim lamplight

in a room – St. Bart’s or Aruba.

White wine and chocolate are savored.

There are not many regrets,

nothing worth escaping.


Night After Day

You said I’d forget

each long wait

on the metro platform,

late in the night—

forget lush curls

across your pale

bare shoulder,

night after

day, after

night, in rooms

above the Thai

restaurant, that street

with a name

I could never

pronounce, forget

your shadow

under streetlight,

how I’d forget

brittle winter,

forget even

when and how

you insisted

I’d forget,

and I did

for a time, until

one weightless

night after day

I stopped

forgetting, and

wondered why

I could have ever

wanted to believe you.