Nick Martino

Three Cheers for My Friends, Their Hard Labor

loving me, and three more
for my many gifted enemies
all of whom, I guess, I am.

Among the home invaders
I leave the windows open for

one believes the body is an instrument
in need of tune. Is the wind

through my body like a reed
renting song? I jog by a fire drill tower

where firefighters practice
firefighting. Ringing up the tower steps
is sheetmetal bells in a hurricane,

is rubber angels
held to earth with heavy wings. Lord,

in this poem in which every room
is burning

if I may ask one fever back from this
spring of wilding
despair, let it be a toy of disaster:

on Floor 1 of my private fire tower
the broken necklace of my spine
unravels river stones across the bright

hardwood. On Floor 2, I commit
the rounding error of trusting
in forever. On the top floor,

deep-wading through a sea of smoke—
I put my ear to the white

bulb of my fist. Listen,
the amber of an orchestra
tuning up:

Nick Martino grew up alongside the ocean of Lake Michigan. An MFA candidate in poetry at UC Irvine, his work is published or forthcoming in Volume Poetry, Carve Magazine, and Foothill Journal.