Issue > Poetry
Mark Aiello

Mark Aiello

Mark Aiello is a New York City-based poet whose work has appeared in such publications as Poetry, The Southampton Review, Nimrod, The Chiron Review, and The Evansville Review.

All Night Grocery

The long summer noon, with the sun stalled, hanging motionless
above their heads, they hurried, shoring up the storefront against the night.
Constructing pyramids from rank of orange upon orange,
stacking crates of kiwis, each fruit a gem swaddled in blue paper
planting gardens of roses in green plastic buckets,
while the other shops pulled down metal gates against a bruising purple sky.

In the milkman hours, when garbage trucks stampede the streets
the grocery windows, alone, glow like aquarium lights.
Under the dusty streetlight, someone in rainboots is hosing off
the polished peppers, waxen cucumbers, kale,
the white lilies, each with a pearl of water on its tongue.

The shop door is lashed open with a length of hairy twine.
This doorstep is a front, where the arctic breath of freezers
clashes with the sweated air of littered streets.
Here, in the surgery light of the doorway, lies the border
between neat rows of particolored boxes and the swirling dark.