Isabella and the Basil Pot

federica santini


What grows in your garden at night,

at the time when nobody looks?

My own is filled with regrets, and the bodies

I planted last spring.


What looks out from the mirror at dawn,

when nobody else is awake?

I can see a face not my own, thin hands

beckon to me.


How much blood flows every day, under

the bridge of your brow?

Mine is steady, still with the pain

of luring the dead to return.


The coin in his mouth is golden,

his hair glimmers with blood.




Federica Santini lives in Atlanta, Georgia. A literary critic, poet, and translator, her work has appeared in over twenty journals in North America and Europe, including Autografo, The Ocotillo Review, JIT, il verri, and Snapdragon among others.