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Two Poems by Robert Bohm




Light as the wasp wing in the porch corner,
the weight
of what can't be.

The Rabbi's eyes, unlit candelabra
in a house by the bay.

Water sucks whatever it finds
from cracks in the jetty's stilts;
the infant cries for its dead mother.

Aaron returns from the war too late,
suspicious of telephones and pianos.
He wakes in the middle of the night, having seen
the child claw its cell's wooden bars
with gnarled fingernails the size of owl beaks.

A year later I arrive.
"The rice paddies are almost all burned," I say, standing
in the doorway.
"Who are you?" Aaron asks, refusing to let me in.
He's drunk, with a child in his arms.

Myra's presence, the bay
on a winter evening.
The wind pounds the storm windows
day and night.

Working for the municipality,
he plows snow from roads.
An hour later, the plowed roads:
snowed under again.




Not the Greek
Orthodox priest's words but
the corpse inside the small
communion dress, that's

the prayer. One
yellow petal
of a St. John's Wort
catches the mother's eye

years later. Pointing
at it, she remarks, "Most people don't
even notice the tiny black
dots at the petals' edges. It's

strange what we ignore." Where
the path forks left
toward the pond, we
bear right through

a tree strand into
another field. Thistle seeds
carried by windblown plumed tufts float
all around us on a trail
that curves
back to where we came from: the car

on the roadside, miles and oceans
from Mykonos. Far off, on
stony hillsides, the lemon trees' shade
cools no one.


About the Author

Robert Bohm was born in Queens, NY. He is a poet.