dress rehearsal

none of my friends are in any of the photos I took
            on middle school field trips

    or at least in the ones of landmarks that I decided

                                  the world needed to remember

for every one photo of my friends

      on the bus    there were ten frozen ghost

     towns              perfectly preserved pieces of history

 like my friends would have     devalued a


              disposable camera photo

                                                                 of Quincy Market

        a few years ago I took a video

                      in a field in Tregynon on a      stunning

                      day in late May

and talked through the whole thing

               about the delicate way the wind moved only some

                of the grass at a time                      the way walking

               towards a tree made every tiny part of it shift

              a different amount in a different

                direction              an infant big bang before

                    my eyes                 the way any slight movement transformed

                    my place in the universe            the way

              I would spend my life trying

              to show this twodimensional zion

                   to anyone else                                       I am mad

at myself when I watch it back                          the way I willed

                  a masterpiece into                          existence

                                                                          and ruined it


                                            I didn’t have any
students during a lockdown

drill at school              but you’re still

supposed to turn off               the lights

           and vacate                       the cone of death

                                                         by the door

I put my feet on an empty chair backstage

behind a rack of costumes

                                                       like I am                    hiding

                   from my mom inside the grownup clothes at Dillards

       and I scroll through photo albums on a        silent

     phone                  because I don’t know how to be alone

anymore                                      I show myself that

  I was somewhere  once                             pointing

          to moments like I am showing myself a fuzzy dream

                                  that I suppose was real

           like the way we’re all just supposed to believe our own baby photos

                     like                     we are


                                                                ghost stories

they announce over the speaker

that the drill is over but I know we’re not supposed to move

until a fire marshal unlocks the door

           so I sit with it all a little longer

        photos flick light under my chin

      this is a ritual by now

About the Author

Danielle Gennaro earned an MFA from Manhattanville College and has studied at the University of Wales with the Dylan Thomas International Summer School. She regularly takes workshops with Brooklyn Poets and she currently teaches music and works as a theatre technical director at a high school in Connecticut. She has previously been published in Oberon Poetry Magazine, Wizards in Space Literary Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, Toho Journal Online, The Raw Art Review, Silver Rose Magazine, Lotus-eater Magazine, and Defunct Magazine.