Two Poems

By: Montreux Rotholtz




Like stepping back,         tenderness. In this place salt-spun and shaken          the hide of crocodiles,
or the hide of man, pale and glimpsed through palms                    I’m glimpsed. The bites

like masterpieces.                    if I could and if not then I’d sling myself at the rafters surrender
to vines to rot to hang in a mesh sling. Teeth like sun I’d make a meal of death.        This place eats

like a crocodile, fury alternates with method. Cloth disintegrates. I bestow myself to remain
to be remains here               I mean to be a body. Would you gold-plate my teeth. Jewel my eyes.

Like a vine            in a glass case, my self is a swamp in a swamp, is a swallow of mud. Is a fraud.
Is a settling of roots. An economy of beetles,                 silvering. Would you build a frame for me,

a shelf to hang on. Would you sew a yellow dress, tie my ankles together                  This ghost
                     like greasy fingers sliding over to meet you.




worlds appear harder than
                clawing at their straps
appear like stand corrected
you women woven into young women woven into
since I last hung
in your mouth                  blue
water the land
you rolled your coin through      talk pretty in safety
like the father
you tell me I am              supplicating

you could find planets
by their gravity
by what they pushed
out of their way or pulled across belts of hurtling ice dark
in sheets stones                blue
water the land
short-spined and grim woven     appear east under two stars
trying to find another
word for                            unclean

appear like harder rain like
some visitors
a peach tree you could find
god by what he pushed out of his way
five men twenty               blue
water the land
misted in salt glass boats              appear like stand corrected
floor’s slant or in response
I should be                        listening

appear like stand corrected
thought I’d feel some
clawing at their sheets
you could find god by what
he pushed out of his way the rest appear east under a sun like the bottom
of a boat                            blue
water the land
straining at its straps                      you could find god
by his gravity woven into but I thought
I’d feel some                     pull




Montreux Rotholtz is the author of Unmark, selected by Mary Szybist as the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Press Book Award and published by Burnside Review Press in 2017. Her poems appear in Boston ReviewPrelude, jubilat, Lana Turner, Fence, and elsewhere. She lives in Seattle.

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