I loved them for their learning and wisdom they wore like a sharp, well-made suit everyone could see coming a block away, and marvel at, Truth and its dispassionate pursuit on the make. Oh they were spectacularly grand and it’s too bad they met such an unspectacular decline in an age where everyone knows everything about everything before they know anything. A few diehards carry on, hunched over like Spinoza grinding his lenses in poor light, shadows of their words on the thick curtains. I miss them, hunched as I am over this poem.
That you can travel anywhere and forever, the woman you love content to roam in white dresses only. That poetry there is bread, butter and jam, beautiful as cobbler pie, rugged as a carpenter’s hammer— that it even has a bowling alley.
Or are they cultivating me, while they take over the apartment? Some dress so fine the word dazzle will not do. Some dress more mundanely and one at the end of the couch wears only underwear, crossing her legs, proud to be provocative yet a little aloof. So many women huddled in the tight space but we wouldn’t change it for the world— this planet as strange to itself as it is to us. Is trying a tango step by the kitchen island the foolish endeavor I hope it is? And is that a Roman legionnaire we see flying smoothly by, red as the night sun?
Tim Suermondt is the author of two full-length collections: Trying To Help The Elephant Man Dance from The Backwaters Press, 2007, and Just Beautiful from New York Quarterly Books, 2010. He has published poems in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Blackbird, Able Muse, Prairie Schooner, PANK, Bellevue Literary Review, and Stand Magazine (U.K.) and has poems forthcoming in Gargoyle, A Narrow Fellow, and Plume Poetry Journal among others. After many years in Queens and Brooklyn, he has moved to Cambridge with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.