about the author

Lani Scozzari is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College where she served as editor of Lumina, their literary journal. Her work has appeared in Comstock Review, The Aurorean, Rough Places Plain: Poems of the Mountains, Zeugma as well as other journals. She received the Massachusetts Cultural Council Finalist Award for a body of work titled Ballet’s Children. Currently she lives in Florida where she is raising her two young daughters.


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Tenant’s Harbor

Lani Scozzari



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I.
What have I known?
Great detailed joy: green-lifed, and impossible
to stare at. Joy will burn the eye, like the cold blare-sting of bleach.

In the rearview mirror of my car, a spider built her perfect web,
thick streams of clarity, bound and crystallized in early light.
I drove highway 84 North towards Boston and the web swelled
in the car’s wind, strings bulging, swaying until it began its tear,
little by little at 80 miles per hour.

These scars sizzle like my fat on fire.

The next morning, the spider curled herself into the corner,
her new web exact as the other
and again I drove for miles and again it billowed and heaved,
detaching slowly, like severing the retina, bloodied eye wall frayed.

She stayed a week,
rebuilding rebuilding rebuilding, tear.
How need fuels itself. How hunger
rejects reason.

Whose failure is this?

II.
There is always a raven
nearby, hunched and treading.
Feed me. In Wyeth’s painting,
the fog has a face, blue eyed
and deviated.

III.
Lobster traps stack even,
black and green. The sea
turns over
a fiery nucleus.

IV.
The moon’s
tenured, the moon’s a battle moon.
Small joy, small flesh.

I must build something before I can lose it.





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