“Super Mario Downtime,” by Stephen Kowalkowski

Aug 20th, 2022 | By | Category: Poetry

with the pipes shut off
and the flying turtles grounded
find him by the Trevi Fountain
admiring that Roman plumbing

he doesn’t go in
for all that mythology
monsters and kidnappings
counterparts and holes

he’s sad the shops are closed
needs a refill on his mustache cream
new buttons for his suspenders
something more filling than shrooms

settling on a bench to rest his aching
feet, Mario watches the river and spoons
gelato, his favorite flavor: Peach

he’s played the hero so long he wonders
what it would be like to turn heel
flip his M upside down and
take on the weight of villainy

no more running toward castles
or crawling through the ductworks
he’d make his nemesis come to him

dry and inside, with his princess
there beside him, he’d steadily expand
til he’s immobile as a statue
a relic of adventuring come home


Stephen Kowalkowski is from West Virginia and is currently working toward an MFA in creative writing at Western Kentucky University. He’s never been published before (editors: until now). Hopefully he won’t have to carve that on my tombstone (editors: he won’t).

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.