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  Joshua Beckman
Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of five books, including Shake
Joshua Beckman
and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Poker by Tomaz Salamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He lives in Seattle and New York.

from New Haven

Joshua Beckman


They, lost, and to the
touch of one another do go
and to say such things
in the grass plain of day
gone long—to be comfortable
or to lay there ruining one's clothes
and in the air above the growing lawn
a bell reflects itself in sound
and asks—what will will leave you
this?—to touch and at once
to be touched. Easy again blows
the warm wind and we bend to it
as does the grass, but we are wanting.


Lying in bed I think about you,
your ugly empty airless apartment
and your eyes. It's noon, and tired
I look into the rest of the awake day
incapable of even awe, just
a presence of particle and wave,
just that closed and deliberate
human observance. Your thin fingers
and the dissolution of all ability. Lay
open now to only me that white body,
and I will, as the awkward butterfly,
land quietly upon you. A grace and
staying. A sight and ease. A spell
entangled. A span. I am inside you.
And so both projected, we are now
part of a garden, that is part of a
landscape, that is part of a world
that no one believes in.

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