10.4 (Summer 2006)
      The 2River View    Authors  •  Poems  •  PDF  •  2RV Past Issues  •  2River




Zachary GreenwaldListen


To return to what I was saying—

You are indulgent, your mother thinks, to waste
each day on the doctor’s couch?

The anti-heartbreak.

When her lower jaw began to protrude at a young age
I would have—had I been born—

done     something     for her.

If just to curb the physical anguish
of her bite. Awry
years before the surgery.

Let it go—

the somatizing tendency.

There is already a lifetime of room
(to feel)
in the mind.

—where else could she have discovered
her solid objects.
Focused on her single things.


The Sleepwalker’s Wife

Trying to crack a can of tuna against a bowl, stirring
a bay leaf in a broth

of iced tea mix, or searing baloney,
I watched him cook while he slept.

His midnight chopping—
onions brought him to tears like anyone else, I told him—

was a gift, a rare biological talent.
His knife’s blind seesawing

was not precise
and mostly added grooves to the marble island.

But he never slipped
or cut anything living. His eyes

were both staring and void,
each lid a woozy aperture

through which he must have seen
on some level—as the experts say—

what he was looking for.
To watch him make something awake

was not so different. The night he left,
I looked at the sink and cleaned

a few dishes for the encore supper.
How I must have slept through the bounce in our bed

as he got to his feet. The garage lifting into the world.
My oven full of rice burning.


about the author


Front CoverPrevious PoemNext Poem



Copyright 2River, 1996-2006. Please do not reproduce or use without permission.