Two Poems

Spencer Smith

Photo Credit: Daniel Damaschin/Flickr (CC-by)


That which has gone before
slowly seeps through,
new bleed from an old wound

or faint pentimento of some
framed landscape, with
artificial borders to hold in

water and wind, or less:
merely rumor of a memory
of a dream, but somehow

still present, taking up space
or the illusion of space, or
more precisely, the space

vacated by something else,
untitled as a poem or
royalty on the outer branches

of the family tree, withered fruit
with only vague recollection
of any existence at all.


How You Feel

I know exactly how you feel:
like an anthill trampled by stampeding hooves,
or a pinecone exploding in forest flames.

You feel like tender shoots masticated
in the maws of grazers, or the lonely blades
ignored as restless cattle feed all around.

You feel suffocated in dark trenches
of foreign seas; you gasp for air
on airless moons of distant worlds.

You feel the hunger of month-long fasts,
the thirst of desert exhaustion,
the accumulated weight of sleepless midnights.

You feel the bright sharp pain of days
and the dull aching pain of months
and the tired quiet pain of years.

You feel as if poets of no consequence
who do not know your name
are always trying to tell you how you feel.


Spencer Smith is a University of Utah graduate and works in the corporate world to pay the bills that poetry doesn’t pay (i.e., all of them). His work has appeared in over forty literary journals, including Main Street Rag, Potomac Review, Plainsongs, RHINO, and Roanoke Review. Email: paiute6[at]

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