Poetry and Poetics
He knew the pulse of things: the circumference
of bagels, Masonic symbols, out-of-the-way
parlors for pistachio ice cream. Knew to send
Lillian “My Darling” cards, how to linger
in the happiness of a contraband Havana cigar.
He’d offer up the wooden box tattooed
with dancing girls and oceans to his youngest daughter.
An open ticket, little coffin, promise of something
older than Mathematics or Persia or Kipling.
He knew fractured things: relatives
disappearing in pogroms, squirrels
in the attic, a wife of absent feeling.
sadness needs a street
Lola, Santa Maria.
No, never could he
cheat, he told her; but instead collected pocket
protectors, Lincoln pennies, basement closets
of burnt-out light bulb fodder—certain
that one day there’d be a way to reclaim
the broken, the shunned—snapped
filament of him, of me.
© by Susan Rich
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