Spring 2021, Volume 30

Poetry by Susan Grimm

The Unities of Time and Space Frown on a Moment

My body was there the whole time, but I’d no idea. So 
when it turned on, I was bedazed—a singing coat, a hot 

inflection, an infection of temperament. I had washed 
and dressed it, moved it about the world, on buses

and streets, in classrooms, under the clock, under
its uniform. I should remember what music 

was playing, how I reached up with my whole body. 
Like a dog shows its stomach, as the wind reveals 

the sway of the trees, I hung my curtain of hair but 
not to be hid. I was a muscle of wanting, a grammar 

of restraint. I cannot account for all the constructions
If I could say this more clearly. If I could say this

in one sentence. If you and I were on an elevator. 
If you and I are defying gravity. If we are giving up 

the moment for the end. The doors open. The doors open.

Fest of Wishes: A Birthday Ghazal

Obdurate leaning pine, rough-barked, this witch’s
wooden prism, the organs damp, high-colored like sequestered caves—my best wishes.

Wet, red fist. The heart grown larger like a pearl, a bird
that strains at the top of the ribs, breaks from my chest like a zest of wishes.

Each day like a caught breath, a love blow. There can never be
enough—gasping, swollen, luminous—arrested by wishes.

Trolling for the unobserved—road smoke, a gravel pit
of years, the caution tape (that clean bird not yet bested by wishes).

That it should go on—the moon riding above me like a promise
in the sky, a milky penny fitted to its slot—the rest of my wishes.




BIO: My poems have been published in Field, The Cincinnati Review, Phoebe, and Sugar House Review. My chapbook Almost Home was published in 1997. In 2004, BkMk Press published Lake Erie Blue, a full-length collection of my poems. In 2010, I won the inaugural Copper Nickel Poetry Prize. In 2011, I won the Hayden Carruth Poetry Prize and my chapbook Roughed Up by the Sun’s Mothering Tongue was published. In 2014, I received my second Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant.