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Author: Daniel Sarnelli
Location: New Haven, Connecticut

diamond icon Daniel Sarnelli is an actor, poet, songwriter and teacher. He currently holds the position of drama instructor at Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School in Connecticut.



The Meaning of Scars

You can feel the choke
Of his parochial tie
His dress shirt hanging
Like half shed skin
A serpent in the garden
Watching.
Waiting

Lanky, tight-jawed
And likely to lash out
Fredrick Tisdale disturbed me

A face pursed in perpetual frustration
He was anger without a voice
A reclamation project
For the Sisters of Mercy
Who sought only his salvation
By whatever means necessary

And unlike astronomers
Who map the night’s stars
We were left to interpret
The meaning of scars
The blow by blow account of his deliverance
Through childhood
Through poverty, racism, classicism
And ignorance

Where once a bike stood lays a snapped steel chain
Now, gripped tightly and prepped for retribution
“you’re gonna pay.”

Fredrick’s funeral
Offered ceremony
Not sanctity

The stained glass windows of Sacred Heart church
The god-light spectacle of our
Communions and confirmations
Felt hauntingly bereft
Of beauty and brilliance
Like over-soaked watercolor
Washing its intention
And struggling to make sense
Of all this distortion
Amid the mourners and the marble
Stood Father Kadish
His lilting tenor rising like incense
Struggling to evoke eternity
“Forever and ever”






ISSN 1941-0441

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