The Surface Circus

Photo by Kevin Chin on Unsplash

The Jewish holiday approaches
I remember things

but not precisely
the things I remember
come back for what they need

is more like it,
like so many ex-girlfriends

we go out, drunk and talkative
New Haven disappoints us tonight, I want to write
still drunk, I try to read your mind,
the circle of your moods,
but have no paper—you shudder,
as someone splashed with water

looking at you I think this through seriously
I also think of skinning the deer in Wisconsin
and the prom night homicide of that month

whether the senator really did cheat on his wife or
did she set fire to their mattress out of a cruelty
and irritability brought on by the short days and the snow

you are so understanding,
famous, cheerful
I can tell you this story
as if it were informative

when your mood changes
you say something else

and I can laugh or argue it,
there is no difference
we send my sister a picture
of the wooden fish from Bali
smoking a bowl—she and I

plan to smoke before synagogue
in order to be able to fall down and cry
on god’s young aerial feet as if he were
an athlete who had spurned us
in favor of a trophy and a life of durable solitude

relatedly, my friend Yaroslav tells
me how torn up he is about a man
actually named Achilles

whom he met last winter at the sauna after a swim
and how god had blessed this man in all but one part

(brown skin,
soft stomach-hair

ram-eyed, part Indian
part German, square
yet round—)

my friend, surrounded by lasers and mist
in the club—I reach for his hips, the smell
of the club incisive and muscular

and his hips are tied
and at the end of the rope is the door of the sauna
the knob too hot to grasp, like the closet that holds the holy books:

“He flew back to Germany, I miss him so much”


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Photo Credit: Kenny Morford

Uri Rosenshine lives in New Haven, Connecticut, where he works at a wine store. His poems have been published in The Missouri Review, SORTES Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, Minutiae: Three Poems, a chapbook published by Directangle Press, and his first collection, Vivid Partitions, is forthcoming from MadHat Press.

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