Jul/Aug 2003 Poetry

The Matter Before Committee: Three Poems

by Susan H. Case



A flash appears in the margin like desire.
This one, I think, might be the retina

detaching from my eye, right before I hear

fading reassurance from thunder.
I have not yet walked the dog.
She finds rain a personal affront.

The lump of papers on my desk is
a jumble of blame.

I wasn't there. How can I know?

I let the beauty of the early Sunday afternoon
age into a kiss
of cold air and darkening horizons.


To Be Addressed

The slippery quality of the crucial is
what does it. Not translucent blouse
nor tricky skirt,

but declaration and intent.

What was said in your office
(the artifice of integrity)?

Let's examine the stain of the orifice,
the substance of the stare.

Don't forget discourse:

why in the city
there is always fire
glaring in gray steady rain.



I watch you stand in full rag.
There's suasion to the suede skirting,
stylishness belying flesh

and static. The cover convinces.

Certainty calms the arteries
of my waver.
Handed a skeleton of dates and times,

I help wrap the enclosure.

Later, in my dreams:
cracked accusations of sleight of scene,

transparency of the rubric
glossed before me.


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