Father, You Me Must Is French for You Owe Me
I bring to the ice field between us the cicadas landing wide-eyed everywhere
a tuning fork
a knee brace and some jelly sandwiches to share. I’d have brought a sheet
of vellum to record the minutes of our meeting
but was afraid its close animal smell would make you want to run. Listen
there’s a great mountain called We
nights for bivouacking
days for belays. In Portrait Studies Without You there’s no echo or foreground.
Here is the clapper and bell-ringing.
Here is the rowboat in all weathers. What you’re missing I have—
your mind’s fingerprint blue-green and bloomy.
I do not begrudge you the dewy map of today with its newly lined folds
but do not desert me.
Be a mouthbrooder
harbor your young behind your tongue.
Visits of Evermore
This is why she hangs bouquets upside down and watches
as gravity pulls
at the buds for hours. Sleep and remember nothing of the dream
as a kite string in a sudden gust. That is love turns to the pillow’s cool side
when the nightmares come
and if she had a painter’s eye she’d tell you some shadows are darker than others
some leaves curl to thorns.
Lynn Shmeidler’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Awl, Barrow Street, Boston Review and Posit, as well as various anthologies including Transition: Poems in the Aftermath (Indolent Books) and Nasty Women’s Poetry Anthology: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press). Her chapbook, Curiouser & Curiouser won the 2013 Grayson Books Chapbook Contest. Her chapbook, Wrack Lines is forthcoming from Grayson Books, and her full length collection, History of Gone is forthcoming from Veliz Books.