At my surprise party
Dad told me he'd bought this Italian restaurant.
It was moving to a pontoon in the harbor.
Hanseatic merchants danced with leper girls on deck
grubby hands twitching with hot frustration
but afraid the girls' skin would powder like old ink.
They raised their glasses to bacteria and you beamed.
The hills above us were champagne overturned,
afizz with tiny windows. In their vagaries
the dancers left us alone; Americans with money,
we had no experience of knitting with fingertips
that thimbled off, or cracking our teeth on flour tiles,
things were what they were supposed to be for us,
thimbles thimbles, fingertips fingertips,
though sometimes restaurants were boats.
It was my birthday. A girl came out dressed in blue.
She sang his favorite Eagles song
because he knows he oughta take it easy.
She had a voice like a Tibetan bell.
I asked if she'd be playing here often. Dad said
of course she will; she lives in the piano.
Samantha Nataro watches detective shows and eats a lot of ice cream. Although she wrote her first poem, called "Dear Mr. God," in the back of a Precious Moments bible quite a number of years ago, this is her first time being published. She lives in Amherst, MA.