Brooklyn Invaded, 1969
by Vicki Iorio

When the astronauts took the moon
Nonna, broken by English,
heard the radio announcer say
the man in the moon landed in Brooklyn.

Windows were shut on that hot July day.
Hiding in the closet, Nonna breathed in
the musk of her dead husband
and said prayers for capture.

Granddaughter, dripping chlorine on the rug,
took Nonna’s hand, sat her down on the ancient bed,
laughed piano keys and explained America.

Vicki Iorio is a New York poet who breakfasts on coffee and tattoos.