Prime Number Magazine
is a publication of 
Press 53
PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130
Tell a friend about this page
Issue 83, January-March 2016
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130

Guest Poetry Editor: Stacy R. Nigliazzo

Stacy Nigliazzo is the author of Scissored Moon, a Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection, published by Press 53 in 2013. She is an emergency room nurse whose poems have appeared in numerous journals including Journal of the American Medical Association, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Third Space (Harvard Medical School), American Journal of Nursing, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Annals of Emergency Medicine. Her poem "Relic" was a finalist for the 2012 Marica and Jan Vilcek Poetry Prize. She reviews poetry for the American Journal of Nursing and the Bellevue Literary Review. In addition to her R.N. degree, she holds a B.S. in psychology from Texas A&M and has been recognized by Elsevier for nursing excellence.

Scissored Moon won First Place in the 2014 AJN Book of the Year Awards in Public Interest and Creative Works, and was Finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters First Book Award for Poetry.
Three Poems by Stacy R. Nigliazzo from Scissored Moon
Visit Stacy's book page at Press 53 to order a copy of Scissored Moon for $14.95.
Peri-Operative Suite

We talk about the incision line, and how the sutures
will cover the butterfly tattoo she hid from her father at fifteen;

and whether stage three is considered late ;

and how the anesthesiologist will help her sleep, 
and when the drip stops               how she’ll likely come back 


hulling the blue air like wheat.

She counted seven, back from ten; her skin, the color of rain, 
           and the blade guttered. 


Quietly, they concede, 
leaving pennies 

at your feet.
Clove oil at your bedside. 

A constellation of symbols 

across the grease board 
like cave scrawl. 

In your palm, a withered 

of split stone. Fluted reeds 
like hollow wings in flight. 

Eyes closed, lips 

I collect you like clover
in the green fleck of my eye— 

like bone chips at the altar. 


          ...take these sunken eyes and learn to see.  
                                                —Paul McCartney

One of my first patients was a man 
with advanced AIDS. 

He was admitted with altered mental status 
and a fever. 

As I leaned over to check his colostomy site, 
he smiled and touched my breast, 

saying he loved me. 

His partner quickly pulled his hand away 
and apologized. By this time, 

the patient was singing Blackbird
and waving his arms like a symphony conductor. 

His partner and I continued the song 
until he fell asleep.