Spring 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 1


Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

MiMi Zannino


Last Breath

(for my grandmother, Felicia Glorioso)

I have never been so aware of breath.
Leaning over you, the last seventeen hours
into the last night of your life. Watching
for the heave of your chest, the rib cage that has
housed and protected your heart, the heart that
moved the hands to release fists full of rigid
spaghetti into gurgling steaming water until
it softened—al dente—just the right firmness
to the tooth. You, at 95 years and 11 months
with a mouthful of your own glorious teeth,
true originals that a nursing home aide insisted
that you take out and hand to her for scrubbing,
even as you protested, “I can’t, they’re mine,
they’re mine.” Those pearls through which
you now puff little spurts of air as if spitting out
the bitter taste of death while I hold my breath.


© MiMi Zannino



Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

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