Jan/Feb 2016 Poetry

Three Poems

by Matthew Gellman

Artwork by Marie Massey

Artwork by Marie Massey


I draw stick-figure families, blue suns, a charcoal sky too rough,
too quick. Wherever I look, I see too much of myself in the thunder
scribbled west. The cat moves closer. The shine of a bluebird rests
like warm rain on his tongue. Sumac climbs the fresh-painted neck
of the garden trellis. Day bristles open. My brother's voice melts
to a regular 9 AM. blur, enters my father's sedan. I cannot tell
which shook: the tea kettle finished singing or my mother's hands.


Still Life in a Shivering Town

Get cozy. Pull me under
starlit covers, coax
the past from my throat.
The blue-veined suburbs.
Winters gathered like sticks.
My father, when he was there.
Face-first mornings pressed
to the blacktop, the boyish
crackle of skin on ice. And
in the window, a comet
falling, clearing a path
through the trees.



The lion is shaggy in marble waves,
and women's feet are teeming
with flowers. Light adorns
the cover; I count two festivals
flanking an emperor's dust. You say
I'm too attached to my body. I try
to convince myself I am not
a voice in stone, calling the past
from an animal's painted mouth.
Handles circle the lion's throat,
a memory I taste. When I close
my eyes, I am a boy in sandals
chasing his shadow through the sea.


Previous Piece Next Piece