Writings / Poetry: Diana Manole

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1. First Breath


All I can do is breathe
and crystal pebbles gently drop into me one after another
with the sound of the childhood bell
announcing that the always overweight and slightly asthmatic Santa Claus
finally squeezed himself through the chimney
           you never knew Christmas existed until you left home
           for the first time
           and saw all the lights on the main street
           in the nearby city
crouched on the bed
as if my sister and I could hear him crunching
the cookies left on the dining table
by the never-used fire place
his curly grey beard – unhinged and a bit smelly
full of chocolate chips and peanut butter
           “Christian holy days stolen by greedy corporations
           eager to sell us our own souls!” your mom yelled
           every December
           embarrassed by endless poverty
then, the glass of milk
just a bit sour
from so much waiting
           “Gifts good only to be regifted
           because money is tight and who needs all that crap!”
           she kept yelling starring at the empty stockings
finally, Santa’s belch
because a man is a man even when his main task is to bring
to everyone
           you, wrapping your thoughts in silvery paper
           with gold stripes
           and hanging them in the strands of hair of all the women
you meet on your way
Santa’s rowdy laughter strangely similar to the one
in the Salvation Army Christmas commercial
           you, some forty years later
           still laughing at yourself more than at anyone else
           a bit tired but smiling
           just like it befits a real man at the end of the work day
and off he goes!
up the narrow chimney
designed by an architect who stopped believing in
fairies, leprechauns, elves, spirits
and, of course, Santa Claus
after he got his first erection
and didn’t know what to do with it
           you, still trying to imagine the best gift
           that would heal
           a woman’s life-long missed opportunities and
           fake orgasms
Santa, finally on the roof
looking at the suburban neighbourhood where all houses
are one and the same
and all people share the same middle-class dreams
and nightmares
hunched under his bag full of Fisher-Price toys
and dollar store colouring books
from a time of economic recession and increasing mistrust
           you, a bit shyly but bravely deciding that you’re the best gift of all

“Who knew that one’s fate could still be prewritten long after
the Greek gods fell quiet
and Oedipus came to terms with his crimes?”


2. Last Breath

To love you, all I need to do is breathe.





2 Responses to “Writings / Poetry: Diana Manole”

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  1. Emily says:

    Diana, your poetry is captivating. A pleasure to read. I’m so glad that I got a chance to read this.

  2. nada Humsi says:

    Beautiful Poem. thank you Diana

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