hobart logo

January 24, 2020 Poetry

Two Poems

Derrick Austin

Two Poems photo

Letter to Brandon

Two thoughts came to mind waiting at the crosswalk:
finally saw another black person today—
she’s like Meryl in The Hours
with her bouquet. She entered those apartments
near our favorite Italian place
(remember our muscular waiter’s gentle voice?).
Her lilies—for bae, I hoped—brightened an afternoon
of women detangling hair.
Is this how you write fiction? It’s not a wish exactly.
Drinking rosé at Gib’s, I imagined you typing
in your dream house near Canada,
the shadows of spruces on a lake. I’d be somewhere else,
who knows where, waiting for your stories
where no choice is barred or above consideration.


Poem for Julián

born in 2017

You look so much like your mother.
You look so much like her by now

you may be tired of hearing it.
May you never be tired of the inexhaustible metaphor

between you and your mother.
In this season of weddings and peach blossoms,

my third grandparent has died.
Being in the world, loss is first and least and awe.

I’m not wise and rarely take advice. I wish I could
end this with Don’t despair and Our friends conspire to save our lives.

I’m sorry for blood on sidewalk chalk. Sorry
for a future I cannot see. A future with hope.



image: Doug Paul Case