Back to Issue Nineteen.

a living



I watched you row us back, into the distance of human familiars.
And the bees gathered as if to become more than one sound.
In the city, when late, I want even the well-behaved strangers
at boring parties. They exhaust me.
All small talk and posture; (come here and exhaust me)
and what is the mind?
Even you. The leaves. In their temporary dying,
give a rich background to people taking each other to bed.
Why would I give up the physical world?
Today, it is all I believe.
And whatever addictions it sells me
(the first open mouth on my own teenage mouth)—
I am shy but impressed.
I am living and badly. The oars hit the dock,
the plates cling to their places,
look at all that has come here and gladly
to rot. A handful of flowers and vinegar.
Leather and silk. Cancer and love.
I don’t even need to be promised fidelity now.
Someone’s lowered his hands to a place without speech.
The pelting on the window is rain.
My tongue, I have found, is warmer
than any sentence I’ve wanted to feel.
And what I have wanted, I should try to forget.
So I stay;
don’t you think so—where else would we go,
what is open this late? I have waited all day just to see you.
In the darkest part of the water.
I see you in the darkest part of the water and swim.

Alex Dimitrov‘s second book of poems, Together and by Ourselves, will be published by Copper Canyon Press this April.

Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths.

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