Blog Post / fall 2015 / Featured / Issues / Poetry / Poetry 2015 / Review / Uncategorized / Volume 46

Epidural—Derek Sugamosto


For a long time after the fact, I pretended

to be the jilted lover, scrambling through

the mad fits of romance

toward the repose of therapy.

A hot, hot light was our love,

for a matter of months,

a light that cast the

laying of limbs as a similarity

enforced. Winter strolls

toward the restaurant, arm in arm,

breath escaping its own lovely heat

toward the syncopated siren-call

of Christmas lights.


We called forth names to match

the pictures in an envelope.

More remembering than doing,

our dance spins the heart into

the conductor of a vast and tired

string-pit, furious in its motion, waiting

for the blood to coagulate into a perfect

series of notes, but settling for a muted

libretto from a blind chest.

And the catcalls carry no reprisal,

but an idea of when to stop,

something to lead the orchestra back

into the dim corridors below the stage.



Now that the fabled cadaver

is once again a man,

the human can be removed from the horizon,

the wild world deanthropomorphized,

magic intentions be damned.


A sad sailor on the docks, forgetting

himself in the wisp of his pipe,

caving in under the weight of his jacket.

Stopping a moment to take in the sight

of water a few feet away,

slopping the beach mindlessly.


The act of transfiguration becomes no

different from counting down the calendar with

a red pen, filling the days until

all diagonals meet, halting at the border.


A quest for peace, an examination

of barnacles too settled to scrape off. My folks,

while moving into my childhood home,

discovered an old stack of documents

on a shelf in a back closet.

They couldn’t for the life of them

match the handwriting to any known soul.

Nor could I, in months to come. But as those papers

are now under my care, I trace the loops

with my pencil nightly.


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