Joey Nicoletti: Two Poems

To Nino Espinosa


Dear Mr. Espinosa:

your card from 1979 is the best:

your incredible name;

your Mets cap barely on

your impressively big hair;

your mischievous eyes and grin;

your dashing tapered tendril moustache;

your white and light blue batting glove beneath

your Rawlings mitt;

your left index finger sticking out

of the mitt’s slot—

this card remains

worth its weight

in all of the sno-cones

and bubblegum from the wax packs

I bought from Stan
the Ice Cream Man

that scintillating summer,

and all of the times

my tongue turned

bright cherry red.



The Last Night of Spring

The moon is a stethoscope, cold

on my back and chest. My Nonno

Giovanni died 30 years ago

tonight. All of my thoughts fall

in pink, yellow, white, orange,

and red petals onto the kitchen table.

I shuffle in my love seat. An ambulance

wails in the potholed street. Silence

returns, like the flashing light

of a firefly’s belly, which will arrive

in due time—in the verdant grass

above the covers of dirt

where Giovanni sleeps.



Joey Nicoletti was born in New York City; he works in Buffalo.