by Tim Suermondt
The Orange Line
In the subway car the man
sitting beside me, a man who
resembled so many other New England
men, blurted out “I’ve done everything
wrong in my life, everything,”
talking as if he knew me, even thought
me a friend. “Except for my daughter.
But I don’t know where she is, I don’t
know where she is. Do you know
where she is?” I mumbled something
and he said he understood and rose
to get off at the stop looming in the window,
thanking me for listening. As the subway
lurched forward I left him looking right
and left on the platform and I wondered
if he had any idea where he was going.
I imagined his daughter waiting near by
“Over here, father, over here.”
We Do More Than Jog Here
In tonight’s dream
I’m running through the Serengeti—
lions loping along to celebrate
instead of eating me. I run so long
and well that I run myself right out
of my dream, to find the doctor
by my bed, telling me everything looks
good and when he leaves I notice
a clump of rough hair on the chair
and the soles of my feet feeling a slight
ache, beautiful proof of what happened.
How I love you, you strange world.
Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections of poems, the latest is Josephine Baker Swimming Pool from MadHat Press, 2019. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, december magazine, On the Seawall, Poet Lore and Plume, among others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.