Two Poems

Poetry
Tim Suermondt


Photo Credit: Vitorio Benedetti/Flickr (CC-by-nd)

The City Will Do

Best to go in later in the morning,
midweek, riding the subway
to the stop that has you come out
between the library and the church—
life and the afterlife staring themselves
down like gunslingers at the OK Corral.
Best to walk as aimlessly as possible,
chronicling everything large and small,
ugly and beautiful—keep moving,
with a pit stop at a café or watering hole,
until you tire and say that’ll suffice
and take the subway again, a good many
laps ahead of the rush hour, the work
days you remember for their exhaustion,
loneliness and, yes, moments of success
when the office bowed to you in thanks.
Watch the stations go by now in real time,
a few of your contemporaries on the old
concrete platforms waving you on home.

 

The End of the World Can Come Quickly

And when it does it will probably
find me sitting in shorts in my study,

trying to turn a recalcitrant stanza
into a dazzling display of clarity.

There will probably be scant time
for heartbreak, but a sober assessment

can be made beforehand, approached
like this: if I’m still writing, there is

another world—if I’m not writing, there is
no other world. How badly I want the former

to be true. I want to see my wife coming
towards me in the moonlight, waving,

oh waving with a book in her hand.

pencil

Tim Suermondt is the author of four full-length collections of poems, the latest one The World Doesn’t Know You. His fifth collection Josephine Baker Swimming Pool will be coming out from MadHat Press in January 2019. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Toasted Cheese, Bellevue Literary Review and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong. Email: allampoet[at]earthlink.net

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