Poems by Marc Manganaro

Pic by Steve Johnson



Emerald of your Eyes

the promise
of all good things:
not the deep lived-in greens
of June and July, all fanned out, nor of
late August or September,
the start of the desiccation, the
browning out, nor the
often ablaze orange and yellow
melodramatic perishings of
October and November, but
the clean bright green of May,
the beginnings, the promise
of all good things,
shimmering, translucent,
Earth’s perennial surprise,
the gift of the green of the light
shining through, the
the emerald of your eyes.


Just As You Are

Just as you are,
Just come.
No conditions, no need to put on
Your Sunday best, or anything new,
But if you so desire, please do:
Just come.
Come appareled in whatever
You desire, comfy sweater,
Blue jeans, shorts, black negligee,
Wedding gown:
My invitation has been sent
And will be sent again.
Just as you are,
Just come, my lover, just come.

Come trumpeting, gilt all in gold,
Emblazoned in all your glories,
Adoring arms raising you high above the crowd,
Or come clandestine, anonymous, humble,
Appearing at my door dripping wet
In the silent silver rain,
Or come naked
As you came into this world
And will go out again;
Come thirsty or sated, burdened or carefree,
Downcast or downright euphoric,
Just come.
Whatever it is you wish to wear,
It doesn’t matter a whit to me: just come.

Just come, in whatever weather,
Donning a ball gown or sporting bells,
Wearing camel’s hair or encrusted with jewels,
Decked out in the glittering raiments of the night
Or bedecked in only the morning dew,
Or even show up as world-shedding anchorite
And I will be your safe haven,
Calm harbor, anchorage,
Just as you are, my Love, just come,
In whatever article you choose, I don’t care:
Come as you are, or once were,
Or will one day be, it doesn’t matter to me,
Whatever hour or apparel brings you here,
Just come, lover, just come.


Come Lie with Me (Acuéstate Conmigo)

After Neruda

Acuéstate conmigo,
Come lie with me,
Beyond all counting, beyond all lies,
Beyond the tracks of the myriad pale moons
That have fallen upon our backs,
Come lie with me,
Beyond all knowing,
Beyond the thinnest shred of any regret,
Beyond the nightingale, beyond the lark,
Beyond the last light of night and first break of morning,
Beyond apology,
Beyond tepid explanation,
Beyond scripted expectation,
Come lie with me.
Come lie with me,
Beyond death’s last triumphant gallop,
Beyond all that we have known of time till now,
Acuéstate conmigo,
Come lie with me.


About the Author

Marc Manganaro is a writer and university administrator who has authored books published by Princeton University Press and Yale University Press, and his works have been  published in numerous journals and magazines, including The Missouri Review, James Joyce Quarterly, and Modern Language Quarterly.  Several of his poems have recently been showcased in the May’24 issue of Poetry Pacific. He was  formerly Editor of The Carolina Quarterly. He currently resides in New Orleans.