The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Al Ortolani: 1 Poem Published


Cemetery as Dog Park


Sunday afternoon—a cold gray nips

the air—the same gray that drove us

as boys to the cemetery, where sheltered

in the evergreens, protected from the wind,

we planned our futures, one dog

or another panting at our feet. Fifty

years is a long time for boys, an impossibility

for dogs, a big nothing for the sun. Even

the cold, creeping slowly into our thighs,

is as temporary as juniper berries, bag worms,

sprawling limbs. Memory comes and goes

as we count the winters, the dogs that

licked their balls, chewed our shoes,

ran into traffic like happy fools.    



Poem by Al Ortolani (USA)

Published in The Ofi Press issue 37.



About the Poet

Al Ortolani’s poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as Prairie SchoonerNew Letters, Word Riot, and the New York Quarterly. He has four books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press at Washburn University, Wren's House, published by Coal City Press in Lawrence, Kansas, and Cooking Chili on the Day of the Dead from Aldrich Press in Torrance, California. His fifth book, Waving Mustard in Surrender, will be released by New York Quarterly Books later in 2014. He is on the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Writers Place and is an editor with The Little Balkans Review.

Image: "Stray in Evergeen Cemetary" by Valli Mark.

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