Two Poems//E.C. Messer


EMBOUCHURE

 

 

Under the green concave

of a chiton shell—

palm, hand, frond

 

                                (palm-cross turning crisp

                                 too long after Palm Sunday)

 

I lean in:

 

                                  (same palm pressed against

                                 the face of a nephrite boulder)

 

a cabochon,

a chest of gold

 

into a knob of pyrite,

close as a nutshell.

 

                                    (Somewhere in the symphony

                                     a piccolo exhales.)

 

 

 

 

                              //

 

 

 

 

THE GENTLEMAN TRANSLATOR

 

 

How does such

a brief body

 

hold so much

information, Boris—

 

where do the extra

conjugations go?

 

How you learned

everything

 

from the man who turned

Milan Kundera

into English.

 

I keep my knowledge

in my chest and thighs,

 

where there’s room;

 

a minor library, but

I’ve got reserves—

 

a way to want

this Golem of a world.

 

 

                                         for Boris Dralyuk

E.C. Messer lives in the sunniest part of San Francisco with her husband and five cats, one of whom has a bionic heart. Follow her on Twitter @ecmesser. She would like very much to know you.