I’d have Anna Akhmatova’s bust
plugged to the wall, hum the hum
of a rechargeable saint. I’d have
Wallace Stevens walk me across
the Hell Gate Bridge to the truss
where he hides his pigeons. I’d have
Garcia Marquez to crouch with, here
behind the house, both of us pointing
to the winged dogs perched in the tree,
both of us marking the muffled din
I’ve been telling myself is only the dead
yelping from their depths. I’d have
these chairs of iron with cushions
chewed by neighborhood runts
hold playwrights who’d wigwag
and point, as if a scrim were hung
from the cloud, plot and grace
dispensed in subtle rations
to please the blood in our four-
chambered hearts. If it were up
to me, I’d have Emily Dickinson
juggle the Bronte sisters, Shelley,
Byron, and a bowling ball, while
eating an apple. And yes, I would
propose in writing, if only to gorge
on the slant of her gentle No.


IF IT WERE UP TO ME by Peter Krumbach



Photo used under CC