Poetry: Tim Suermondt

Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections of poems, the latest JOSEPHINE BAKER SWIMMING POOL from MadHat Press, 2019. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, december magazine, On the Seawall and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

Tim Suermondt

Which is probably why I write about the city,
ferreting for love and yes (forgive me) the moon
and the stars and any inkling of what lies beyond,
the grand gesture pared down to the move of a hand,
a flicker of anything real, lovely as justice,
a moment of almost perfect simplicity, the faces
of citizens in the dim light of the pizza parlor
who personify resilience, who never fail to move me.


When I was young I didn’t know where
I wanted to get to.
Currently, many years later, I know where
I’d like to be
and pretty certain I won’t make it there.

Who had it better?

Painters are at work in the hallway
and I swap stories
with them at lunch, even talk some Spanish.
I loved Matamoros
so long ago, every hacienda sorry I didn’t stay.


I toss and turn throughout the arduous night,
bumping into the world at the slightest movement.
We know each other so well you’d think
we’d be more compassionate, refrain from giving
out anxiety, finally learning that we’re two old
comrades who should be at the bar, talking about
history and philosophy, the blooming flowers of spring,
what we swear to do for one another this, this time.


The sun has come out early
And the trees, their leaves yellowing
Already, look primed for the Fall.

The construction sites are quiet,
Like ghosts having a picnic and the cars
On the elevated highway appear

Content with the traveling, the trucks
Delight more brusque but palatable
And a jet flying in the great blue affirms

The lucky life of birds darting as I will
From errand to errand later this day, my
Feet providing all the flight I’ll ever need.

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