Summer 2010

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

Paul Hostovsky



He can’t stop looking
at this photograph
of his wife from long ago,
her school picture
in which she is only 12
and has no body,

only a head
and a neck, a red
shirt collar opening
onto the invisible country
that was just beginning
to develop below the border.

Here his imagination
has pitched its tent. Here
the scouts of his eyes
keep returning

to her eyes,
the facts of them,
which haven’t changed at all
in all this time.

And here is her mouth
which he has kissed
a hundred million times,

before he kissed it once,
a girlish smile
playing at the lips
some game of its own


Uplifting Poem

Look, this poem
can't hold you up.
It’s holding itself up
as proof of its own
weakness. Look
how thin it is, how
frail, how feverishly
it mutters to itself
lurching down the
sidewalk of the
page. This is not
an uplifting poem
though once a long
time ago it was---
once upon a time
there was a live chicken
in this poem,
there was glacier
and a sailboat,
the Pacific Ocean
sloshing between stanzas,
and you like Adam
saying Here am I
to God who was also
near. But now it’s
close to the end.
Now there is no
lift left. You’re
disappointed. Look,
the poem isn’t sorry
you didn’t find
what you came here for.
The poem isn’t sorry
it didn’t change
its name when its body
and its bearing changed.
The poem isn’t a sorry poem.
It’s much too proud
and a little too late
for that now.


© Paul Hostovsky



Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

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