One Poem by Luigi Coppola

They stood on different continents and held hands

The sun had set into waiting soil,
the night can come hungry for peace,
the trees bent at the wind’s change,
and the bats swung like empty stockings.

Against this backdrop, her mise-en-scene
was set ablaze by the prospects of tomorrow,
hampered by now and aligned with the past –
what possible goodness could come of it?

Within the mid-ground, the ship and the factory
held their supplies, a conveyor belt of poor
taking their chances at a survival without means
and as a means for others to thrive.

In the foreground, here are those people:
needle in hand, sole in palm, tissue-thin mask
across face, slivers of light straining eyes,
the grating of machine all around them, watched

by the watched with their watches stuck at 4:59.
And here the continents collide. The tectonic plates
of trade, sped up by the economics of someone else’s
sweat, begin to grind together

and those red eyes meet
and those dirt and dust stained hands shake
clasping across the void
and we feel the earth quake.


Luigi Coppola ( teaches and writes in London, England. Shortlisted three times for Bridport Prizes, he appeared in Worple Press’s anthology ‘The Tree Line’ and publications include Acumen, The Frogmore Papers, The High Window, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Iota, Magma, Orbis, Neon, Rattle, The Rialto, THE SHOp, Structo and Snakeskin.

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