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Antonina Palisano | Electric Cereal

Author: Antonina Palisano

Antonina Palisano is an MFA candidate at Boston University. When not specifically a poet, she works in archives and museums and bikes all around Boston. Her work has been published in Quick Brown Fox, The Massachusetts Review, and the Poetry Daily anthology. She can also be found on Tumblr.


“…rather loose and wanton in her conduct.”

           –  “Green Children,” from A Dictionary of English Folklore

I went home in order
to be unaccounted for.
The singing is the same

as the not-singing, the same
as the calm in knowing
where to hide:

in the stillness at the edge
of wrongdoing.
I memorize the dosage

so as to exceed it.
Two green children emerge
from the wood, are coaxed

to eat beans. One balks,
dies; the other turns pink,
learns to like it. She marries an official.

Her sons have surnames
& human skin. I came here intact
but that means very little.

Estate Sale

The first man to say marriage
like saying bread put his mouth

on my breast, the two of us
under the splintered sign
that advertised the lodge,
blue-eyed sonofabitch
with rough hands, kids
and dogs always loping to him,

his damp orbit. In barter
I go lisping through a billfold

till he lifts the conversation
like the shards of a dish I’ve dropped.
He compares a bargain to love

or poker. Talk,

never show your cards
or wallet.

Grave Types & Goods

Girl can give               what god will not

I come to the habit of giving             more

than good       or useful             Girl’s job
to watch the men        asleep on trains               Dispassion

is the girl in god                       First to redress

although in the right
Someone’s got                        to keep custom

bind the corpse           lead the mourners       Blame

the unattended

giving               of herself         A dog listens
at the grave     I want to kill

what remains  of my uses                     Stay
inert                 total