Poems by James B. Nicola

Touch Red

Touch red
Touching red is like knowing you
But can you touch red at all?
Is it the red of the red
            Or the red of the thing
That makes touching red
            Touching red?
The bright and the blare
            And the brass and the boom
And the bomb are like
            Knowing you.
Is it the feel of the red
            Or the feel of the sting
That makes knowing you
            Touching red?
I don’t know
So I burn
Touching you
Touching red.

If I had x-ray vision

If I had x-ray vision
     I’d see
in the sea of souls
like whitecaps in the glitter of the sun
     but glimmering through the surface
from the depths
hungry as a field
     of blood-red
But I don’t
     and so attend
this grand chorale
of mouths agape
     red as rows of
poppies, and—
James B. Nicola, winner of three poetry awards and a Pushcart and Rhysling nominee, has published almost 400 poems in Poetic Matrix, Atlanta Review, Tar River, Texas Review, &c. A Yale grad and stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a Choice Award. First full-length collection: Manhattan Plaza scheduled for 2014.