Sunday, November 1, 2020





What We Share


Adonis and I love a woman in a black dress—


Who says Islam and the West must be in opposition?


A woman’s long legs behind the black fabric,


Walking the roads of the fields and the asphalt streets


Of the cities scrimmed with dim but lovely lights.


Adonis looping his white scarf around his neck,


Me with my hands in my front pockets, the woman


Calmly waiting for us to arrive, dabbing her mouth


With a lithe handkerchief, saying a prayer devoted


To earthly joy and all everlasting makers of black dresses.




Paris: A Man And His Dog


The man from room 31 and the dog


whose bushy, drooping ears smartly compliment


his master’s Clemenceau moustache.


Usually they’ll turn left to the boulevard


then left again and disappear. Sometimes though


the dog will pull the man right, to the coal black


statue of a World War 1 soldier.. The dog will sit


and the man will bow his head, in tribute I guess.


Touching, but about these things we muster little care.


I wonder if my Metro line is back up and running--


the days are getting shorter and colder.





Virgin Of Guadalupe


She gives me a big, multicolored sombrero.

“Wonderful,” I say, “it’s what I always wanted”

and in this there’s much truth.

She backs away, blushing—our eyes

following each other down the esplanade

until she’s swallowed by the festive crowd

coming fast in my direction.

I must look ridiculous—the picture

of the forlorn tourist—but the hat fits

and a woman at her window calls my name

and doves fly off the rooftops

to land at my feet. “Sing us a song”

“Sing us a song,” the people beg, but I beg off,

felicitously pleading a sore throat.

Why should I torture anyone today

when I’ve been blessed with a big sombrero,

its brim wide enough to encompass

worlds, a tiny bit of Heaven.






We Know Life Doesn’t End Well

But We’re Not Perturbed


So much good has happened

even the defeatist in us has had to apologize

many times over.


Some evidence: seeing my wife on the street

and both of us picking up our pace

to hold each other in our arms, as though

we were separated, incommunicado, for years,


as though we don’t really die, though we really

die—justice, finally—the kind well worth

the slow breaking of our hearts.




TIM SUERMONDT’S sixth full-length book of poems “A Doughnut And The Great Beauty Of The World” will be forthcoming from MadHat Press in 2021. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, december magazine, On the Seawall, Poet Lore and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.


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