Selected Poems by Luigi Coppola

Aug 21, 2023

We Used Every Part of the Tree

Set to music here: 

First, we lapped at every leaf then tore
the veins out with our teeth. For seconds,
we licked the twigs until they were pale
and our tongues were sore. Third, we spiked
the branches between our fingers and toes,
snapped tips jostling within
the shadow puppets’ glare.

Once the green crown was cleanly
guillotined, the trunk was shrunk:
the heartwood pumped to bursting;
the sapwood sucked hollow;
the inner bark outed;
the outer bark ousted
like grated callouses.

Finally, the roots were canalled out;
every lattice lace loosened from its lair;
every taproot tapered to eternity;
every root hair brushed until they bled
dry; every split end speared into settled soil.

And as our machines turned
their cogs and spun their wheels
and blew their fuses, we left all the fallen
fruit: rotting and fermenting and skinning
themselves in our newly paved
and pristine, usurped path.




In the space between thoughts, their horizon

Set to music here: 

They stood by trees and waited for the leaves
to fall. The time was spent in shadows cast
upon the moss and dirt that lay in wait.
Above, the sun spread wide across the boughs,
its yellow bleeding pale into dark curves.
Each step away led up towards unknown
parts. This world points all climbers to
an end that plays its parts: overtures
of crimson shards, falling like broken birds.
Then, frozen, singing in an altitude
that pans way out to witness a betrayal
amongst the arms of lovers: one and whole,
together, separate, divided, joined,
in the space between thoughts, their horizon.

Luigi Coppola is a teacher, poet, first-generation immigrant, and avid rum and coke drinker. Bridport Prize shortlisted, Ledbury and National Poetry Competition longlisted, Poetry Archive Worldview winner’s list, publications include Worple Press’ The Tree Line, Acumen, Ink Sweat and Tears, Iota, Magma, Rattle, and The Rialto.

IG @PoetryPreacher, Twitter @MrLuigiCoppola, FB @luigi.coppola.3551, TikTok @TheOnlyEmperor

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