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November 7, 2016 Poetry

Two Poems

Katrin Tschirgi

Two Poems photo


I've drunk myself a well. A bucket rises
and I spill my lips. Inside,

my candles are lit as kidneys. It is true when feeding darkness
it is best to stand above the mouth and hope.

And in that mouth, it’s true, you should not put things
if you don’t know where they’ve been.

It is true if you can knot a maraschino stem with your tongue
your lover will stay.

Once, at the watering hole, a man with a knit-closed eye
kissed me til I spat up a silver coin. I read no money
in the threads of his eye.

You could say this was charity,
what I did for the man with one eye.

I’ve learned Braille if only to read the face of Washington,
learned to thirst if only for luck.

There was no face
on his face.

I did not call him a monster.
Please, I am here to collect
my reward.

So Much Water So Close To Home

I brought you a book and marked my favorite story
with a receipt so you could know fiction,

how a husband did nothing
after finding a dead girl bloated

and tangled in the reeds
worse off than Ophelia. On Thursday,

I took you into the back room at work and found
all my clothes afterwards except for my necklace,

a long gold strand
puddled on the floor. A Mardi Gras.


You weren’t listening, but I spoke loudly
about my future husbands and divorces
just so you knew

I wasn’t going to tie you down,
that with me,

there was always an easy way out. I’ll spend the night
tracing the blue of your back tattoo and then,


I’m gone. I’m running

out of ways to tell you
you mean nothing,

sweet those words.


Instead of baby, darling,    I don’t
Love you.  I can’t tell you the number of times I haven’t

loved anyone. When I slap,
I want it to come with lightening.

I want to show you everything
and wrap my beads around your body

so everyone knows you’ve seen me
like hard times. 

We could lay on a futon and call each other
fake names. We could count

the seconds of silence
when the sky booms

over the town. The way it rains, I know the farmers
are kissing each other everywhere

but their mouths,
the vines of their arms grasping for sun.


image: Aaron Burch