Tim Suermondt

Two Older Cagers Going One-On-One

 for Mel


This is not about skills diminished by time,

not even about the loss of my wavy hair


and your immaculate, badass fro.

Not the way we flat out rainbow shots


that find nothing but net—not the way

our sneakers spark with the friction of speed


as we drive—not the way we jump to Mars,

spinning and twisting cool among the stars.



Another Chance to be Beholding


Napping on a bus to Sioux City:


A woman dancing on a tabletop—

the sky the color of mesquite,


air sweet as bourbon, and I’m slowly

forgetting every mistake I ever made,


a monumental task that’s working.

I love it when a nap goes like this,


where hoping is not merely for hope alone

and the success rate is so staggering—


Yes, a woman dancing on a tabletop, forever.



The Poem as the World Cup Final


Eighty thousand people, in festive dress,

will come to cheer and watch it triumph.


They’ll marvel at its gorgeous tackles

that never come near a whiff of getting a yellow card.


They’ll shout with zeal at the spirited attacks along the flanks

and the creativity it displays in the most mundane set pieces.


They’ll revel in the eighty-ninth minute when the perfect

ball is struck for the only and winning goal,


all of them singing as it somersaults in the air and dances

to wicked salsa moves none of them could have even imagined.


They’ll congregate in the plaza that night, hoping to catch it

stepping out of a limousine with a topless model named Celia,


partying as best they can outside as it will inside a club awash

in bling and cheerful decadence, parading around the floor,


bouncing a soccer ball off itself one last time, promising

more splendid victories to come, promising not to sleep in too late.

Tim Suermondt is the author of two full-length collections: Trying To Help The Elephant Man Dance (The Backwaters Press, 2007) and Just Beautiful from New York Quarterly Books, 2010. He has published poems in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Blackbird, Able Muse, Prairie Schooner, PANK, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine (U.K.), and has poems forthcoming in december magazine, Plume Poetry Journal, North Dakota Quarterly, and Ploughshares. After many years in Queens and Brooklyn, he has moved to Cambridge with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong. 



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