Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Two poems by Marianne Szlyk

The Last Night at Burma Restaurant

Tonight the archer and the water bearer,
the goat, ram, and lion,
the virgin and the twins,
with the scuttling crab,
circle the bronze elephant,
in silence, in quadruplicate
on kitchen-yellow walls.

I pretend
we could have stayed
here forever.
I pretend
we could have been
an elderly couple here.
I pretend
we could have been a couple.

Tomorrow the dancing zodiacs
will be packed away.
Tiny lights like melting glass
will frame the empty space
the flame-yellows,
the acid cracks and pock-marks
we do not yet see.

Brookland

I walk through the neighborhood
we almost moved to
and think about the days of pen and paper,
lined for me, unlined for you,
purple ink and day-glo stickers for you, black ink for me.

You nagged me
to buy something else, even crayons.
I still have Victorian lace and violets
hidden away
some seven or eight moves ago
back when I knew my friends’ handwriting.

I walk through the neighborhood
my husband and I almost moved to.
Would we have lived in the house
with the leopard skin porch,
in a room of a mismatched house,
or in an apartment
in the shadow of the basilica?

I walk through the neighborhood
we never really considered.
It’s not yet time for violets.
It’s past time for lace.

I think about the days of pen and paper.

I think about writing you a letter.

Marianne Szlyk is an associate professor at Montgomery College, Rockville, and serves as an associate poetry editor for Potomac Review. Her poems have appeared both online and in print, including in The Blue Hour and, most recently, Poetry Pacific. She now has started a poetry blog at http://thesongis.blogspot.com/

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6 thoughts on “Two poems by Marianne Szlyk

  1. Wow these are both so lovely, both very different but equality beautiful. The zodiac poem fills my mind with vibrant images, whilst the second poem bids me to reminisce, wonderful thank you 🙂

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