Two Poems - Dante Fuoco

Dante Fuoco

Every day I am running late. 
It means you stay, stay 
longer than others

a friend tells me. I 
like this friend. I wait 
for her at a café

even though we’ve made 
no plans to meet. I’m 
always waiting for people

it seems. Once, or maybe 
many times, I was waiting 
for a sentence to end

for so long I thought 
it never would, so I 
left. But then it did

and I was late again. 
My father says I used 
to be nice. My college

friends don’t say a thing. 
I’m waiting for the courage 
to dawdle on the sidewalk

knowing full well how 
infuriating this may seem 
how inconsequential my gait

is in a world that is 
tearing. In a world 
that is tearing I am

waiting for love. That 
is, I am in love. That 
is: I never left the

room that held this love 
despite my being 
summoned away. Who

waits for their heart to send 
itself away? No one, of 
course, for love is its own

clock. I’m running late 
because I like to stay. 
I like ticking

the abacus into a song. 
I like counting grains 
of wood. I’d like

another piece of bread 
please. He and I, we 
stay in that room, our

own little city. We 
take the butter, the kind 
others lampoon, and

we wait for it to 
melt into our wrinkles 
into our hands.

The wind callouses the world, I think

I think because the world calloused me 
and never left a mark (only the thought of 
one) that we can be whipped this way 
and that and call it weather.


Dante Fuoco

Dante Fuoco is a queer artist based in Brooklyn. Recently he staged the off-off-Broadway debut of his newest solo show no! i be seal. His first solo show, Transplant, was performed to sold-out crowds in New Orleans. The Saints + Sinners Festival has anthologized his fiction, and Amygdala, an ensemble he founded, improvised one act plays all through New Orleans. A nationally recognized educator, Dante coaches an adult LGBTQIA+ swim team and does restorative justice work in NYC public schools. 

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