Joris Soeding

As Birth           
~for Amanda~ 
I am fearing intersections for you
this fragile place of your one bed
a long window in the shared room
so I have arrived
with flowers not for graves
yet returned of absent you
in visitations among the half dead
under sheets
You recite the year
the belt in your perfect teeth
prickling those arms (still red)
I have brushed prior
with implications of night
as recently you nodded, faltered
dropping needles into the sea
on recognizable toilets for balance
Whisperings of our summer quietly conquered
stripped to the deaf shrillness of stars
we shall bathe once more
in voices not bodies
where streams lie coiled, strange, untouched
I am still in your forty-four days
this warmed light blue bedside
perhaps lamps along the street remind of I
mountains we have hushed before
tomorrow will not hurt you
I promise

Counting and the Blue Envelope
I have crawled the month to this night. October 28th.
Reddishness in the rendezvous. Or maybe no color to retell.
Leaves, sidewalk, hair, traffic, our german tongues. Then
dark. The dance. And now. And now.
A presidential campaign—in a state never resided more than
hours. Movie previews in solitaire. You are presently the
stranger. We saw Seven in a theatre that no longer exists.
Said first I love yous on a park bench that is gone. So we
danced and as of late I dreamt your welcoming into the dead.
Washing your face, rolled up jeans near the waterfall.
Someone closer to ends.
Ten years and not having drowned. Either one of us. Tonight
almost ridiculous. Bare. Appropriate moon as always.
The letter you wrote. Princess Diana and Mother Theresa
passed. Missing the states. “I’ll see you in October.”

Joris Soeding is the author of the poetry chapbooks Surfaces
Diminished and Trees. Otherness. Instance. Recently, writing
of his appeared in The Poetry Ark Anthology and The
Prose-Poem Project. He is a Senior Editor of Another
Magazine and the Grade 5/6 Writing Teacher at
Philip Rogers
Elementary School
in Chicago, where he resides with his
wife, son, and cat.

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