The poetry of Andrew Szilvasy

While the Foliage Sleeps

For you, the visit balms the loss.  He’ll lurk
in our old house, miscolored now, where once
out back in the beige yard he scorched the stump

to ash, and you, five, cried while termites burned.
Perhaps he’s at your wedding now, the one
you thought that he had missed (who was
it now that walked you down the darkened aisle?),
yet there he stands cool against the copper sky.
Sometimes his clothes are dripping, his blazer’s tight

at the shoulders, but he smells right, and the size
of his pupils, black disks of dark—the whole
of his eye!—while strange, makes sense. The mind adjusts.

But my dream-soaked father never stays
with me. Always, walking out of oceans
or just amid the normal conversations

while falling down the gulches, just when his lips
begin to mouth the things I wish they would
my sense returns, and even if he lingers

I wake, and headlights—luminous spiders—crawl
up the wall and vanish into corners of the dark.




On Looking at a Group Selfie the Morning After

It is so rare we see each other, our lives
achenes shattered from one clock, that we’ve
become each other’s discount bards
(five for the price of one!), hyperbolizing

old nights with no hope that this one will add a fit
epilogue. Nah, it’s dark, the bar’s young, no one here’s
a Homer sober and we’re not drunk enough.
You can hear of old girlfriends only so many times.

Our eyelids pried up by streetlights,
just look at us, momentarily composed,
before we migrate to different cardinal points,

earnestly smiling into a white light
oblivious to the overflowing
dumpster right behind us.

Andrew Szilvasy teaches British Literature outside of Boston, and has poems appearing or forthcoming in CutBankBarrow Street, Smartish Pace, and Permafrost, among others. He lives in Boston with his wife. Aside from writing, reading and teaching, Andrew spends his time hiking, running, and brewing beer.

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