First Snow

First Snow by John Mungiello

The window shows me
Everything. I give it nothing,
But a reflection. Half present—
Wrapped into what I was born
To be by some other man. By
Some other lady who said, “call me love”.
I thought we had to earn what we get, so
Tell me how to live. I can ease your dying
By force. With my arms
Let them knot till the pain pops
In my brain. On a slab they will
Unfold each lobe to find
The word that killed me_______.

I will not die by suicide, but by my own hands
Slowly disappearing, like the wet stain on this glass
Blocking the front yard. I am in
Every snowflake inevitably forming
Into a storm. I am the one
Melting, hydrating the corners
Nobody thought to mark
With a name_____________

Sailing by John Mungiello

She told me they
Told her she
Was too boyish.
I told her they
Told me I was too
Much of a pussy
To be a
Boy, when they looked
At me, brow up. Lips hung.
Not understanding
The woman who lived
inside my only belly.

A suffragette picketing to
Break out. How they hated her
Growing larger than the man
I was told to become
By a smaller man.
By smaller men who
Spit on green lawns.
Turning grass to piss.
Covering windows in egg,
cream and yolk. A hard on.
Wee-wee-wee, all
The way home.

How they love it when I wear black.
Hair slicked back. Crown
Of sharp molasses.
The shine traps an image
Of the boy I was before
I saw the mirror.
Before I had to pretend my hairline
Wasn’t sailing past the horizon.
Rising before disappearing
Under sun. Fading
Behind an ocean
And tell me what happens
Once it’s all gone and what
Will they make me do?
Grow a beard
To balance the disappearance;
Wear a bandanna, printed
With stripes that preach
The new religion of Patriot.
Or, plug the spot with
Hair from my ass.

If none of those, maybe they will
Tell me to button my tie
As tight as they who made
Me say to my Self, goodbye.
No. I’m not keen on choking.
Not keen on resting
Until the kicking in my stomach stops
From welcoming my baby girl into a
Home not shaped like another’s shadow.
I’ll build my own.
Casted from sunlight.
Made for him.
Made for her.
A roofless room
With a crib to grow from.
With a bed to rest in.
With arms to hold and
Breasts to nourish.

For now, she will keep kicking
And I will shrug her off
By calling her “just gas.”
I brought the conversation back
To the present and ended by
Telling her to build her own
Boat. calling herself captain of
Her own body sailing along
Her own shore, holding one finger out
Toward the clearing asking the sky if it hurts
To be out in the open and it will answer
Inevitably, “Never.”

<img class="wp-block-coblocks-author__avatar-img" src="; alt="<strong>John Mungiello
John Mungiello

John Mungiello is the author of Streamlining Oblivion, available on amazon. His poems have appeared in Lucky Jefferson Magazine, CapsuleStories Magazine, and PSPOETS.

Currently, he is working on a new book of poems. He works as a high school art and special education teacher and lives in Riverdale, New Jersey with his wife, Laura.

Find him on Instagram: @jmungiello and Twitter: @jmungielloart

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

Don't get caught plagiarizing Shop Tombow Find your domain and create your site at!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.